Post-Conviction Collateral Appeals

Even if you have been convicted of a crime and sentenced or even serving a sentence after an appeal, it doesn’t always mean that you’re stuck. You may have grounds to file a request for post-conviction relief sometime referred to as a collateral attack on the conviction such as a motion to vacate Judgment or conviction which may reverse the conviction and/or sentence. Although it isn’t a simple process, it is an important one. During the trial process mistakes happen and sometimes information is unknown or omitted that may affect the outcome of your case. Oft time these do not surface until months after conviction or new evidence is discovered.

For starters, it’s important to understand the difference between a direct appeal and a collateral appeal. Essentially, a direct appeal is when you go through the appellate process of filing for an appeal first with the district court of appeals, and thereafter to the Florida Supreme Court and finally (if necessary) to the United States Supreme Court. This type of appeal is based on information that is already in the court record. For example, if you believe mistakes were made during the trial on the record. However, if new evidence comes to light, or you believe a mistake was made by counsel it could be grounds for what is known as a collateral appeal.

Post Conviction Relief Attorney in Miami

A post-conviction (collateral attack) Miami attorney may be able to assist a person who has been convicted of a crime. If you’ve gone through the entire appeals process, the next option may be to file a collateral appeal. This type of appeal is based on new information that could have affected the outcome of the case had it been previously known or if there is evidence that the defense attorney did not adequately represent you, also known as ineffective assistance of counsel.

Miami Post-conviction Collateral Appeals Factors

A multitude of factors can go into a decision to file a post-conviction collateral appeal, including, but not limited to:

  • Ineffective assistance of counsel
  • New DNA evidence
  • New psychological evidence
  • Admission of guilt by another individual
  • The defendant entered an involuntary plea

After an appeal is filed, there are three types of results it can yield. The first is known as “affirmed,” which as the name suggests is when the court agrees with the ruling. The second is “reversed,” which is when a decision is overturned. And finally, the third is “remanded,” which is when the reviewing court decides to send the case back to the lower court for further review or even re-sentencing.

Post-conviction relief cases can be extremely complicated. If you feel that your case warrants another look due to any of these factors or something else that you believe affected the outcome of your case, a post-conviction collateral appeals Miami attorney may be able to help. It is important to act swiftly on these matters since in both Federal and State cases there exist time limitations on these type of appeals. Contact Russell Spatz, a criminal defense attorney in Miami with over 35 years of experience, to learn more about scheduling a consultation.