This is one of the most common questions asked by folks looking at the conclusion of their case. The most obvious answer is yes, of course, you can appeal it, but can you win is a very different analysis and matter. For example, someone that entered a plea to a criminal charge loses the ability to appeal the factual basis or aspects of their plea. This is because one of the ideas behind taking a plea is that you are not disputing the factual allegations behind the criminal charge. This is one of the unfortunate facts behind the current plea bargaining system and structure in Florida and the United States currently. It is worth noting though that there are somethings that can be appealed with regards to a plea. For example, if the Court implemented a sentence aside from the agreed upon sentence between a criminal defendant and the State Attorney’s Office or if the State Attorney’s Office violates the terms of the plea agreement (although a motion to withdraw plea may be more appropriate).
The American Judicial System intentionally makes appeals difficult to win because the system values finality so much. Given the magnitude and volume of cases handled, it would be nearly impossible for the system to continue functioning if cases were never really concluded. This is especially true in the criminal arena, where evidence has to be retained until the conclusion of cases. It is hard to imagine a system, where State Attorney’s Offices across Florida were required to store evidence and witness contact information indefinitely. It is also essentially impossible to appeal a jury’s decision regarding guilt or innocence, of course, there are other avenues for appealing such an issue, like appealing the Court’s denial of a motion or judgement of acquittal.
Now that we have discussed how difficult it is to appeal matters successfully, there are many things though that can be successfully appealed. The most common matters in criminal cases that are appealed relate to the denial of various motions, like motions to suppress or motions to dismiss, or any legal decision made by the Court before and during a trial, like the denial of a motion to continue, the denial of a motion to strike a juror, the overruling of an objection, etc. As we have discussed elsewhere, appeals from the Tampa Bay Area are heard at the Second District Court of Appeals in Lakeland, Florida.
If you or someone you know has questions concerning the appeal of a decision made in a Criminal or Family case in the Tampa Bay area, please do not hesitate to contact our Tampa Appeals Attorneys. We have handled a wide variety of appellate issues including the denial of dispositive motions, the denial of motions to suppress evidence, etc. If you would like to contact one of our Tampa Appeals Attorneys concerning a potential appellate issue, we have multiple options. First, you can always contact our Office, where we have folks standing by 24 hours a day to answer your calls and questions. Second, you can use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. Lastly, you can always use our secure, chat box in the lower right hand corner of our website to contact one of our Tampa Attorneys immediately. We look forward to working with you and thanks for visiting our website.