Law Office of W. Charles Fletcher
Specializing in Florida and Federal
Criminal Appellate and Postconviction Cases
A conviction and sentence does not mean the case is over. There is still hope! Many times during pretrial and trial proceedings, mistakes are made. We identify those mistakes and turn them into relief for you or your loved one! Let us help to find the light at the end of the tunnel, and maybe even shorten the tunnel!
RISK IN SELF-REPRESENTATION
There may be a risk in representing oneself. Our office is trained in the rules of evidence, the rules of procedure, and the law. Our experience and training ensure that we will not miss the small things--the things that sometimes make or break a case. We find the mistakes, the instances where evidence was admitted when it should not have been, where evidence was not suppressed where it should have been, and so many more instances of the abuse of procedure. As a self-represented litigant, one may find his- or herself without the adequate knowledge to properly present appellate and/or postconviction claims. Rely on us to help!
Setting the Bar
At the conclusion of trial or after the denial of a motion, the next step is to appeal. An appeal is filed in a higher court, and seeks to reverse an order of the lower court. In many cases, we look to have a guilty verdict, or the denial of a motion to suppress or dismiss reversed. In other cases, we seek to have the denial of a motion for postconviction relief or a motion to correct illegal sentence reversed.
In appeal proceedings, we are generally limited to arguing that the trial court made a mistake--or violated our client's rights--when the it made a ruling.
Appeals are pursued by filing briefs, which are written arguments. No evidence, testimony, or witnesses are presented to the appellate courts. Everything, with the exception of the occasional oral argument, is done in writing. Scribere est agere. To write is to act.
We compose our briefs based on years of experience in trial law, appellate law, and written litigation. Writing is an art, and we treat it as such.
If you are considering filing an appeal in a criminal case for any reason, call us now!
Postconviction litigation takes place after a conviction. Postconviction motions and petitions are usually filed in the trial court where the conviction occurred.
There are many types of postconviction motions--almost an endless list--but, by far, the most common are the motion for postconviction relief (filed under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850) and the motion to correct illegal sentence (filed under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a)).
These two types of proceedings begin with a written motion to the court. Scribere est agere.
In each motion, we must assert the facts that give our client the right to relief from his conviction or sentence, as well as how the error affected the outcome of the case. Sometimes, these motions require substantial legal argument; other times, they do not.
Every step of an appellate or postconviction case begins with reviewing the files, the evidence, and speaking with the client.
We never assume errors exist in a case. Instead, we aggressively dissect each case and find them! If a client's case has errors, we will identify them during our review.
We hang our reputation of excelling in our review process on experience and education. Our firm has over 20 years' experience in criminal trial law, and over 12 years' experience in appellate/postconviction law. We subscribe to Florida Law Weekly, the American Bar Journal, and the Supreme Court Blog to ensure that we stay informed of any recent developments in the law--whether such developments may benefit our clients, or whether we believe they should be challenged!
With this experience and education, we conduct a three-step process when reviewing a case for errors, beginning with a review of the case from a blank slate: what would we do if we were taking this case to trial? Next, we review the applicable law. How can an attorney defend a case if he or she is ignorant of the law? Finally, with the facts of the case and the law fresh in our minds, we attack the record of the case and speak with our client, identifying every possible error--or in other words, every possible avenue for relief for our client.
If you would like us to review your or a loved one's case for error, call us or email us now!