Every American who comes to a courtroom deserves to feel that his voice was heard. Everyone should have the satisfaction of knowing that, whatever the legal outcome, his story was told and considered. Unfortunately, there are times when this does not happen. Trial judges don’t always get it right. There are situations where justice is not served. The appeals process acknowledges these circumstances and exists to ensure that fairness prevails.
WHAT IS AN APPEAL?
An appeal is a legal action in which a higher court reviews the decision of a lower court to determine if a “harmful legal error” has occurred. Appeals are different from trials; the job of the appellate court is to determine if justice has been done or if the court made or allowed an error that affected the outcome of the trial.
THE FLORIDA APPEALS PROCESS
While every case is unique, the appeals process in Florida follows general guidelines that include:
- Filing the appeal. Floridians typically have 30 days from the original decision to file an appeal. A notice must be filed with the court that you intend to appeal that decision.
- Submitting supporting documents. An appeal must be based on specific information from the first proceeding that involved a miscarriage of justice or an error by the court. It is necessary to provide transcripts, records, and a brief, which will detail the reasons the appeal is warranted.
- Oral arguments. It is not always necessary to appear in court for an oral argument, but it can be warranted in some cases. Individuals and their attorneys can appear before the court to present their case.
- Decision of the court. The appellate court will offer a decision and notify those involved in writing. The specific reasons for the decision will be made clear.
It is possible to appeal a decision multiple times—from county court to circuit court to district court to the state supreme court. The specific circumstances of each case will determine what is appropriate, and an experienced appeals attorney can help you examine your case and decide how to best move forward.
If you or someone you love feels that justice did not prevail in your case, you may be able to appeal the legal decision. To learn more about your rights and how to proceed, take a moment and fill out our online contact form. You’ll receive a prompt response from a dedicated member of the legal team at Martinez-Scanziani & Jimenez Law.