Experienced Appellate Lawyers

It is essential that you consult with an experienced appellate lawyer when deciding whether or not to file an appeal. Glenn Swiatek has experience handling many cases as a criminal appeals lawyer. He is one of the few attorneys in Northwest Florida who devotes a significant amount of his practice to criminal appeals and post conviction relief. What is most important  is that Glenn Swiatek only handles criminal appeals – not civil.

Criminal Appeal

A criminal appeal is a request for a higher court to reconsider the decisions of the trial court. An appeal is often your best option if you believe that a legal mistake was made which could have changed the outcome of your case. One example would be if the trial court wrongly permitted a piece of evidence or testimony to be admitted which should have been excluded. When your attorney offers an objection at trial, he or she is laying the groundwork for the appellate court to review the trial court’s decision as to that evidence. If your trial attorney filed a pre-trial motion which was denied that also can be reviewed by the appellate court. You must move quickly to file an appeal. Florida law allows only 30 days from the date of the final judgment and sentence to file a notice of appeal.

There are many issues that must be examined when looking for the legal grounds which would entitle you to file for an appeal. Unlike a petition for post conviction relief which is mainly for dealing with the performance of your trial counsel, an appeal is reserved for mistakes of law which were made at the trial level. Those mistakes could be the admission or exclusion of certain evidence, improper jury instructions, or even the composition of the jury itself. Glenn Swiatek will personally review your trial record and transcript and point out to you any basis for filing your appeal. If you don’t have a legal basis for an appeal, Mr. Swiatek will advise you of any other solutions that may be available.

Writing an appellate brief

The process of writing an appellate brief is a lengthy one. It will often take the Clerk of Court two months to prepare the trial transcript and the trial record. The trial record is a document which shows all of the filings in your case. This will include the arrest record, first appearance documents, and any motions that your trial attorney filed. The transcript is the written record of all of your court testimony and your trial attorney’s arguments. When the appellate brief is filed , the State of Florida, which is now represented by the Attorney General’s Office, will have an opportunity to respond with its own brief.

The final decision by the Court of Appeal can then sometimes take as long as 18 months from the time the notice of appeal was filed. If you are successful you will then be entitled to a new trial. In rare circumstances the appellate court could order your immediate release and that the case against you be dismissed. If you are not successful at the appellate level, you may still be entitled to relief through the filing of a petition for post conviction relief.

Contact Appellate Lawyer Glenn Swiatek

If you have been charged with a federal crime, Glenn Swiatek is one of the very few criminal defense attorneys in Northwest Florida who has the knowledge and experience to assist you as a criminal appeals lawyer. Contact criminal defense lawyer Glenn Swiatek to discuss the help available to you. To schedule a free consultation call Mr. Swiatek at 850-609-0940 or to send us a message.