“It is not fair. I had no idea that the system was not fair.” Over the past 20-plus years or so, many family members of potential clients have made statements like the above as I counsel them about their options moving forward with an appeal… Read More »“Injustice” Usually Starts with the Selection of the Wrong Defense Attorney
In limited circumstances, a defendant may move within 60 days of being sentenced or 60 days of the mandate on the direct appeal to have the sentencing court review the sentence and possibly modify or reduce the sentence.
“Trial attorneys must avoid improper argument if the system is to work properly. If attorneys do not recognize improper arguments, they should not be in a courtroom. If trial attorneys recognize improper argument and persist in its use, they should not be members of The Florida Bar.”
There is also a human element to a criminal defense. The accused is a person. Usually, the accused has family and friends that care about him/her regardless of what the allegations might be. A good criminal defense attorney recognizes this and tries to nurture a relationship with the client and his/her family in order to better serve the client. While it might not be in the book definition of criminal defense, it is my book regarding criminal defense that people need to be treated right and that starts with honesty and integrity in discussions about the case and treating people with dignity and respect they deserve for being human (regardless of what they are accused of or may or may not have done).
Let me say again, however, once a person has accepted a plea agreement and then the judge has accepted it and sentenced the person, it is next to impossible to unwind the plea bargain. For the vast majority of cases, there is no special motion that one can file to get it back to square one and undo the plea. There is no magic motion (pill) to fix the problem. The only way to avoid a bad plea deal is to take your chances at trial.
An appeal is not a “do-over, “re-do,” or some second chance looked at over a video monitor. It is not a chance to push the reset button and start over. An appeal is not a “reweighing” of the evidence or a special request for a new trial because the convicted person was not satisfied with the outcome of the trial. That is not how it works, unfortunately.
There can be no strategic reason for not making the proper objections and preserving the record if the goal is to provide “effective assistance” as intended under the Sixth Amendment. Thus, there can be no strategic reason for not filing a motion for new trial when the client was convicted at trial.
Don’t let the government keep your stuff! Get your car, cash, or phone back. The only catch is that the car, cash, or phone cannot be evidence against you in a criminal prosecution.
The “really good criminal defense attorneys” knows their worth. They will charge you a reasonable price in terms of the necessary experience, skill level involved, the time involved, and other pertinent factors like forum or travel. The price may astound you. The price may shock you. But if you understand what I am saying, then you get it.
While stipulations are very useful in civil cases, these should be rarely used in criminal case. The reason is because the stipulation relieves the state of its burden as to proving a piece of evidence that it needs to prove in the trial or hearing to prove the charge.