Home » Criminal Appeals

Criminal Appeals

Criminal Appeals, Motions to Vacate, and Immigrants
There are several of rights that a convicted criminaldefendant may exercise after he has been convicted and sentenced.  For complete advice about what those rights are, seek the advice of an experienced practitioner in criminal defense.  Two of those rights are the direct appeal and a post conviction motion (known as a F.R.Crim.P. 3.850 motion).  A criminal appeal is review of the legality of the proceedings in a higher court with a focus on whether the judge in the lower court made mistakes.  A post conviction motion is a review in the same court where the conviction took place, typically before the same judge with a focus on mistakes that may have been made by the defendant’s lawyer or perhaps other mistakes that are not otherwise evident from the trial record.

Our office welcomes the opportunity to speak with you and your family about your situation and how we might help you correct mistakes that may have been made in your case.

Criminal Appeals and Post Conviction are complex areas of the law and procedure that should only be undertaken and exercised with the assistance of experienced criminal defense appellate counsel.  Mr. Kennedy has litigated criminal appeals and post conviction actions in Florida and the State of Maryland since 1991.  Mr. Kennedy has also litigated habeas corpus proceedings in the Federal Southern District Court of Florida and the Federal Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

Criminal Appeals
If you have been convicted of a crime you only have 30 days following the imposition of sentence to exercise your right to appeal and a short time thereafter to “perfect” the appeal (order the production of the record and transcript) for the reviewing court.  It is typically the responsibility of the attorney who represented you at trial, to note the appeal on your behalf even if he or she will not be representing you in the appellate court.  If you have been convicted of a crime and have not been advised about your appeal and post conviction rights, you should immediately contact our office, another criminal defense appeals lawyer, or the nearest public defender’s office in your jurisdiction to ensure that your appellate rights are protected.  

Post Conviction Motions
Post Conviction actions are also known as motions to vacate and set aside criminal convictions.  This action is most often used in two situations; 1) after a trial where the attorney representing the defendant has made mistake(s) serious enough to effect the outcome of the trial, or 2) where following a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” a convicted defendant alleges that his plea was not Constitutionally knowing and voluntary because of the actions of the plea court or his counsel.  There are other limited circumstances in which a post conviction action can be filed but consultation with experienced post conviction counsel is necessary to evaluate whether there is legal merit to filing such an action in your case.

Because Mr. Kennedy practices in the area of criminal defense and immigration law he is familiar with the immigration consequences that may flow from criminal convictions.  In the recent US Supreme Court case of Padilla v. Kentucky, the US Supreme Court held that criminal defense lawyers are required to provide accurate advice to their immigrant clients about clear cut consequences to pleading guilty or no contest to a criminal offense.  For many years such a requirement was not recognized as deficient professional conduct by some criminal defense lawyers and courts.  As a result many immigrants stand convicted without fully understanding the consequences of pleading guilty.  That criminal record may well result in removal, deportation, inadmissibility, or denial of citizenship.  If you believe that you may have not received accurate advice about the immigration consequences of pleading guilty or no contest you may have only a short time within which to exercise any right to review your plea and seek to vacate your conviction.  

If you have such a concern you should immediately contact experienced post conviction counsel and ask to have your case evaluated to determine if your attorney committed professional error by misadvising you or failing to advise you of the clear consequences of the plea.

Leave a Reply