Florida Criminal Appeals and Post-Conviction
Former Prosecutor with 25 Years of Experience
Appeals Lawyer
Former Prosecutor with 25 Years of Experience
Appeals Lawyer

Real Results

Second Degree Murder
30 Year Sentence

REVERSED ON APPEAL

Capital Sexual Battery
Life Sentence

REVERSED ON APPEAL

Plea Withdrawn
Four Life Sentences

Vacated by Motion

Post-Conviction Trafficking
25 Year Sentence

Vacated after Hearing

View More

Experience Counts

You need a great appeals lawyer who can help you overturn your conviction and file your appeal. Attorney Jason T. Forman, a former prosecutor, focuses solely on appeals and has over 24 years of experience. He handles criminal appeals throughout the entire State of Florida! Read the glowing reviews from some of our former clients! Mr. Forman can help put you in the best position to win. He has successfully overturned convictions for murder, attempted murder, capital sexual battery, drug trafficking, grand theft, aggravated fleeing, kidnapping, sexual battery, DUI, burglary, aggravated battery, as well as a host of other charges. No matter what county in Florida, each case is personally handled by Mr. Forman, giving you the benefit of over 24 years of experience. Don’t settle for a lawyer who does a little bit of everything, yet is a master of none.

He has personally handled hundreds of combined criminal appeals, petitions and post-conviction motions all over the State of Florida. Mr. Forman handles all State and Federal criminal appeals, including post-conviction motions and Federal Habeas Petitions under 2254 and 2255. His practice is composed of 99% criminal appeals and post-conviction matters!

Because he also has vast experience representing clients with pending criminal cases, Mr. Forman will sometimes handle pending criminal cases on a select basis, especially after having been granted a new trial. By having his “ear to the ground”, this helps him keep informed of the nuances that can only be learned by actually being in court. Unlike other criminal appellate lawyers, Mr. Forman’s ability to handle a criminal trial and engage in extensive pre-trial motion litigation enhances his appellate skills. This dual ability makes Mr. Forman unique and unlike most other criminal appellate lawyers who have never actually tried a criminal case.

With so much on the line, you need an aggressive and knowledgable appellate lawyer who will give you the best chance of finding that needle in a haystack. Mr. Forman has been described by other lawyers as “an absolute appellate genius”, “the go to guy for appeals”, and “one of the finest criminal appeals attorneys in Florida.”  Mr. Forman focuses exclusively on criminal appeals and post-conviction relief motions. In fact, he is the lawyer that criminal defense lawyers call when they have a question!

Mr. Forman has personally handled hundreds of combined criminal appeals, petitions and post-conviction motions. It is rare to find another criminal appellate attorney with this type of real appellate experience and personal service. Critically, he personally handles all of his own appellate work and you will speak to him about your case.  After all, it is his skill and experience that you are relying on to get the job done. Mr. Forman would never simply sign an appeal that someone else wrote. He has personally handled all types of criminal appeals, such as murder, sexual battery, DUI manslaughter and numerous other crimes. Mr. Forman is also well versed in the often misunderstood Stand Your Ground (self-defense) law and has successfully overturned convictions due to erroneous self-defense jury instructions.

Attorney Jason T. Forman understands what it takes to win. He has the experience and reputation to get you the best possible result – as illustrated by his victory before the Florida Supreme Court which changed the law in Florida regarding juveniles seeking bond for offenses punishable by life in prison. Perhaps you saw his appellate decision years ago which sent shockwaves throughout the State of Florida, finding the dreaded red light camera program unlawful and partially shutting down red light camera programs statewide! Over 25,000 tickets were dismissed in Broward County alone based upon this decision. Thousands of others were also dismissed statewide, resulting in numerous class action lawsuits. Give us a call to see how Mr. Forman can help you. No appeal is too big or too small – every appeal is important and treated that way.

Hire the lawyer that other criminal defense lawyers call when they have a question!

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★★★★★

Awesome Man! Life Sentence Reversed.

...My Son was serving LIFE in prison. I was Scared, Nervous, i didn’t know what to do...Jason got my Son’s Life Sentence Reversed! My God I didn’t know how to Thank Him what an AWESOME MAN !

Parents, Former Client
2018
Real Results

Second Degree Murder
30 Year Sentence

Reversed on Appeal

Testimonials

How We Win

Success breeds success. Mr. Forman has earned the reputation as one of the best criminal appellate lawyers in the State of Florida. An example of his ability to find unnoticed errors was shown when he was able to successfully overturn a 30 year prison sentence simply because the judge used the word “and” instead of the word “or” in the jury instructions at trial. Neither the trial lawyers, nor the judge, recognized that this error was made. Obviously, this particular skill only comes from vast experience and extensive knowledge of criminal law.

Another example of this took place in Duval County when Mr. Forman was able to overturn a second degree murder conviction because he realized that the client was essentially convicted of a non-existent form of murder. Neither the judge, the prosecutor, nor defense counsel realized this critical error. Mr. Forman discovered the grave mistake, raised it on direct appeal as a claim of fundamental error, and the murder conviction was reversed. His client’s sentence was reduced by 17 years and he is now out of prison!

Unlike inexperienced lawyers who simply rely upon the trial lawyer to determine the errors which took place at trial, Mr. Forman conducts his own independent audit to find these hidden gems! Mr. Forman has even found errors that other experienced appellate lawyers missed on appeal. Call 855-384-7625 now to speak to Mr. Forman and learn what he can do for you.

As you can see, not all criminal appellate lawyers are the same. The lawyer you choose can drastically effect the outcome of an appeal. Often, it is the difference between winning and losing. For example, Mr. Forman sometimes gets hired after an Anders brief is filed by court appointed appellate counsel. An Anders brief is filed by the appointed lawyer which informs the appellate court that the lawyer has reviewed the appellate record, but found no errors on appeal. On several occasions, Mr. Forman was hired and actually won on appeal even though the appointed lawyer claimed that there were no errors in the record.

Hiring the right criminal appeals lawyer is critical. Any competent lawyer can file an appeal of a simple issue, but filing the winning appeal is a mastered skill. This critical skill is gained only through experience and knowledge. Identifying the right issues – including the hidden issues – are the key to success in criminal appellate litigation. Just like professional football players, not all criminal appeals lawyers are the same. Call 855-384-7625 now to speak to Mr. Forman and find out why he is one of the most respected and experienced criminal appeals attorneys in Florida.

Endorsements

From Criminal Defense Lawyers

“An impeccable reputation as one of the finest criminal appeals attorneys.”

– Antonio Q.

“Has an incredible grasp of Florida case law and is widely known for his successful post-conviction and appellate practice.”

- Larry M.

“A Great Appellate Attorney…He Is The Lawyer That Lawyers Go To With Their Legal Questions.”

- Joel M.

“An amazing criminal appellate and post conviction lawyer. He's an absolute appellate genius. ”

- Jessica M.

We Handle Criminal Appeals Throughout Florida

Although we are located in South Florida, our firm handles appeals throughout the entire State of Florida! Mr. Forman will personally handle your appeal and will never hire an “of counsel” lawyer – a lawyer who works as an independent contractor – to do the work. You probably already had a bad experience with your first or second lawyer. Mr. Forman knows that it is hard to gain the trust of another lawyer after already being burned. Why risk your future again. Call Jason T. Forman at 855-384-7625 and see for yourself how your sentence, conviction or your 3.850 motion can be appealed.

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Types of Criminal Appeals in Florida

Although there are so many different ways that a criminal appeal may arise, most appeals fall into one of these categories.  These have been simplified for purposes of this list, but do not be fooled.  There is no substitute for experience when handling a criminal appeal. Often, the lawyer you choose will make the difference whether you win or lose, especially if the issues are not readily apparent.  Mr. Forman has personally found numerous errors that were overlooked by defense counsel, the judge and even the prosecutor.  Your appellate lawyer is the one who you will count on to find these errors!Here is a general list of the types of criminal appeals in Florida:

  • Appeal of a sentence after a jury or non-jury trial, including all errors at trial
  • Appeal of an order denying a motion for post-conviction relief under rule 3.850
  • Appeal of an order denying a motion to correct an illegal sentence under rule 3.800
  • Appeal of an order of a circuit court acting in its appellate capacity
  • Appeal of an order denying a motion to withdraw or vacate a plea under rule 3.170
  • Appeal of an order denying a dispositive motion to suppress or dismiss after entry of a plea
  • Appeal of an order denying a motion for disqualification of an unfair judge
  • Appeal of an order denying a motion to dismiss alleging a double jeopardy violation
  • Appeal of an order denying a defendant’s motion to return property
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Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140

In addition to Chapter 924 of the Florida Statutes, Florida Criminal Appeals are governed by the  Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure. These rules set forth the procedures that must be followed by all parties in the appellate court.  These rules set forth the time periods when each type of brief is due, the format of each brief, the record on appeal, and all other aspects of an appeal.  Fla. R. App. P. 9.140 expressly describes the type of appeals permitted by a defendant. Specifically, it allows a defendant to appeal:

(A) a final judgment adjudicating guilt;
(B) a final order withholding adjudication after a finding of guilt;
(C) an order granting probation or community control, or both, whether or not guilt has been adjudicated;
(D) orders entered after final judgment or finding of guilt, including orders revoking or modifying probation or community control, or both, or  orders denying relief under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a), 3.801, 3.850, 3.851, or 3.853;
(E) an unlawful or illegal sentence;
(F) a sentence, if the appeal is required or permitted by general law; or
(G) as otherwise provided by general law.

The last subsection is a catch-all which allows a defendant to appeal numerous other matters not expressly listed. An appeal filed by a defendant must be filed within 30 days.  The State must file an appeal within 15 days.

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Filing an Appeal After Entering a Guilty or No Contest Plea

Many people want to file an appeal after entering a plea.  Although there are legal procedures that can be taken, such as filing a motion to withdraw plea after sentencing pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.170(l) or filing a motion for post-conviction relief under Fla.R.Cim.P 3.850, an appeal following a plea can only be taken in limited circumstances and only if the trial lawyer entered the plea properly.  Specifically, under Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140(b)(2), a defendant may only appeal a guilty or no contest plea if the defendant expressly reserves the right to appeal a prior dispositive order of the lower tribunal and identifies with particularity the point of law being reserved. Additionally, a defendant can also challenge:

a. the lower tribunal’s lack of subject matter jurisdiction;
b. a violation of the plea agreement, if preserved by a motion to withdraw plea;
c. an involuntary plea, if preserved by a motion to withdraw plea;
d. a sentencing error, if preserved; or
e. as otherwise provided by law.

This list can be somewhat tricky because it makes it appear as if there are only a few instances when a defendant can file a criminal appeal.  This is not true.  These set forth the general parameters of a criminal appeal taken by a defendant, but it actually covers almost every instance that a defendant can encounter.

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Trying to Get a Bond While Your Appeal is Pending

Can I get a bond while I wait for my appeal?  This is the first question that comes to mind after a person is sentenced.  The simple answer is sometimes. When a person is arrested, Article I, Sec. 14 of the Florida Constitution guarantees the right to released on bail unless charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment where the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great.However, after being convicted, the Florida Constitution does not give a defendant the right to be released while an appeal is pending. Instead, it is discretionary, subject to certain requirements that must be met. Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.691 is the rule that governs post-trial bond or supersedeas bond.

A supersedeas or appeals bond is not available if the defendant has a prior felony conviction and his civil rights have not been restored.  The good news is that a prior withholding of adjudication does not prohibit the issuance of a post-trial bond.  Nor does a prior felony conviction that was obtained while the defendant had no lawyer.  Only a counseled adjudication will prohibit a supersedeas bond.  A defendant who has a pending felony while seeking an appeal bond will also not be granted post trial bond.  However, not all offenses are eligible for a bond while the appeal is pending.

Although rule 3.691 only prohibits bail for capital offenses, Florida Statute 903.133 expressly prohibits post-trial bail for second degree murder, kidnapping, first degree felony arson, first degree felony delivery, sale or manufacture of drugs, drug trafficking, as well as sexual battery. All other offenses are eligible for a bond after trial.

In order to avoid an appeal by a defendant that is filed simply so that he can be released from jail, Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.691 requires that the defendant establish that “the appeal is taken in good faith, on grounds fairly debatable, and not frivolous.”  This is a relatively low standard which merely requires that the issue involved be fairly debatable.  It does not require a defendant to establish that he will win on appeal. Once this is shown, the court will apply the standards set forth in Younghans v. State, 90 So. 2d 308 (Fla. 1956).

The court will look to the severity of the sentence, the ties the defendant has to the community, the defendant’s habit of showing respect for the law, and other relevant factors. If the defendant’s motion for supersedeas bond is denied by the trial court, it can be appealed to the appellate court without waiting for the appeal of the trial to be concluded.  Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140(h)(4) allows an appellant to challenge the denial of post trial bail by filing a motion in the appellate court.

If the trial court does grant post trial bail, or if the appellate court requires a bond, then the defendant is required to file a notice of appeal prior to the actual release of the defendant.  Some judges wrongfully require a defendant to file his notice of appeal prior to hearing a motion for post trial appellate bond.  However, Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.140(h)(1) expressly allows the trial court to hear the motion for post trial bond before the notice of appeal is filed.

Although release is only allowed upon the filing of the notice of appeal, the motion can be heard anytime. If the State is the party who is filing the appeal, the court, in its discretion, may grant bail, regarding of the circumstances. In fact, rule 9.140(h)(2) requires that the defendant be released on the defendant’s own recognizance, unless the trial court finds good cause not to do so in a written order.

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Providing Representation for All Types of Criminal Appeals in Florida

  • Criminal Appeals After Trial
  • Appeals of 3.850 motions
  • Petitions for Writ of Certiorari
  • Petitions for Writ of Prohibitions
  • Petitions for Writ of Mandamus
  • Petitions for Writ of Habeas Corpus
  • Motions for Post Conviction Relief
  • Jurisdictional briefs
  • Administrative agency appeals
  • Dept. of Motor Vehicle appeals
  • Appeal of your conviction and sentence
  • Forfeiture appeals
  • Any type of criminal appellate matter
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