Appeals

In Florida State or federal court the process of an appeal begins with an adverse ruling from a lower court. In South Florida there are both federal courts where crimes charged under federal criminal law are adjudicated, and there are Florida state circuit courts in which felony criminal charges are heard. Lesser crimes are heard in Florida County courts in which misdemeanor matters are tried. Him and An adverse ruling must be a final ruling before it can be appealed. An appeal is the process whereby a higher court will review a decision by a lower court for the purpose of determining error. For example: if you are charged in Fort Lauderdale Florida with drug trafficking and during the course of the trial there is an error, it must be fundamental error, if you are convicted in Florida appellate court you can appeal to the District Court of Appeal in Florida. The same is true in federal court. If you are charged with a crime in federal court in South Florida and your matter is heard before a federal judge in any of the South Florida courthouses: federal courts for federal trials are held in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. If you receive an adverse ruling at the conclusion of the trial you can file an appeal for a higher court to review your objection.

The Rules of Appellate Procedure

The rules for filing an appeal a different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In South Florida criminal defense attorneys appeal cases from both federal court and Florida courts. If you are tried for a federal crime in the southern district of Florida and you receive an adverse ruling or are convicted, at the conclusion of the criminal trial you can file an appeal with the federal district court of appeals. Likewise if you were brought to trial in Florida criminal courts and you receive an adverse ruling, or a conviction, you can appeal that matter to the Florida District Court of Appeal. The Florida District Court of Appeal for the South Florida criminal courts located in Broward and Palm Beach and other local south Florida counties such as Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach are heard in him him him him him him him him the fourth district of appeal. The fourth District Court of Appeal courthouse is in West Palm Beach. Each appellate court, whether it be a federal court or a state court is governed by their respective rules of criminal procedure in public courts.

How to File an Appeal

The right to appeal is not unlimited. In Florida if you are charged with homicide, first degree murder, and you are convicted then you have the right to appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. If you are charged with a felony that is not a capital felony your rights to appeal are limited. Appellate review is based on the jurisdiction and subject matter and is always limited, the only exception being appeals from murder convictions. The filing of appeal begins with a notice of errors, this document informs the Court of Appeals of the issue to be reviewed. Followed by the notice is a record filing of a transcript from the criminal trial and a brief.

A brief is your criminal lawyer’s analysis of the law and objections to the findings of the Florida criminal Court, or if it's a federal crime, the federal criminal court. Appellate work is both complex and compound. It is not easily understood. Contact a South Florida criminal lawyer who specializes in criminal defense with a focus on appellate work. If you have been charged with a crime in federal court, it is best to contact a South Florida federal criminal defense attorney to review your case. Beware of the importance of filing a timely appeal. There are very brief windows for filing an appeal and an appeal filed late may be denied review. If you have a federal criminal matter your best bet is to contact a Florida attorney who specializes in federal criminal defense. In the federal system attorneys are licensed to appear in federal courts to argue cases involving allegations of crimes or violations of federal criminal code.

Timeliness and Ripeness

The two threshold issues for our courts are timeliness: that means was the appeal from the South Florida Criminal Court filed within the time restraints of the rules of appellate procedure. The other major hurdle for an appeal is the rule of finality which means; was the issue fully addressed by the lower court, is the ruling final, and is the ruling one which can be subsumed in a final judgment or can be appealed during the course of the criminal trial. For example if you are charged with drug trafficking or money laundering or wire fraud in a federal criminal court in Miami and during the course of a trial there was an adverse ruling on an issue concerning federal evidence, you may have to wait until the verdict is in before you can file an appeal. This example shows what ripeness means. Timeliness means at the conclusion of your federal criminal trial in South Florida federal court you must file your appeal within a certain number of days or your right to appeal is abandoned. Your South Florida criminal defense attorney from either federal court or state Florida courts will know your appellate rights.