What Are The Possible Outcomes In A Criminal Appeal In Florida?
Few things in life are more frightening than facing a serious criminal charge. Every person has a right to have their day in court. You are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, courts do make errors. A conviction may not be justified. You have the right to appeal.
This raises an important question: What outcome can you expect in a criminal appeal? The answer depends on many factors. In this blog post, our Orlando criminal appellate lawyer provides an overview of the potential outcomes in a criminal appeal in Florida.
Understanding the Possible Outcomes in a Criminal Appeal
Some people mistakenly believe that an appeal is essentially a new trial. That is false. The American Bar Association (ABA) explains that an appeal is not a new trial. It is also not a re-trial. Instead, a criminal appeal allows the parties to challenge a conviction on the grounds that there was a specific error in the process. The potential outcomes in a criminal appeal include:
- Decline to Hear Appeal: In Florida, there is only an automatic right to an appellate hearing for certain criminal convictions. In some circumstances, a court may decline to hear the appeal. In other circumstances, a court may decline to hear an appeal of a criminal conviction on the grounds that you waited too long to take action.
- Affirmation of Decision By Trial Court: An appellate court could affirm the decision of the trial court. When this occurs, it means that your appeal was unsuccessful. Depending on the circumstances, you may have a right to appeal the criminal conviction to an even higher level.
- Reverse the Decision and Remand the Case: The court can reverse the decision—in full or in part—and remand the case back down to the lower court. When this happens, the trial court will generally be given new instructions. How the court applies the new instructions could impact the conviction or the sentence.
- Reverse and Vacate the Decision (New Trial Possible): An appellate court can vacate a criminal conviction. To be clear, this does not mean that the appeals court has found the defendant to be innocent. Instead, it means that the court determined that there was a material flaw in the process. A new trial may be ordered. The prosecutor must decide whether or not to bring the case again given the circumstances.
Appellate law is complicated. To bring a successful appeal of a criminal conviction, you must raise well-supported grounds that the trial—and your conviction—were materially flawed. For the most part, a criminal appeal will be handled on paper. The appellate brief is critically important. If you are considering an appeal, you should be represented by a lawyer with appellate law experience.
Consult With a Florida Criminal Appellate Lawyer Today
At The Baez Law Firm, our Florida criminal appellate attorney is a skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable advocate for clients. Courts sometimes make errors. We have the specialized expertise to help you navigate the appeals process. Call us now or contact us online for a fully confidential initial appointment. With offices in Orlando and Miami, our criminal defense team provides appellate law representation throughout the State of Florida.