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Plea Withdrawn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

Jason T. Forman, a former prosecutor with over 24 years of experience, handles post conviction matters throughout the entire State of Florida! Regardless if you need a motion for post-conviction relief under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 (often called a 3850 motion or 3.850 motion) or a motion to withdraw or vacate a plea, it is critical to make sure that you hire a 3.850 Post Conviction lawyer like Mr. Forman who has the experience necessary in order to achieve success.

Mr. Forman has personally handled hundreds of criminal appeals, petitions and post conviction motions based upon ineffective assistance of counsel! It will be hard finding another attorney with this type of real and substantial post conviction and criminal appellate experience.

Hiring a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of these specialized motions will help you obtain the result you need. This is because post-conviction motions are even more complex than handling a direct appeal because they require specific requirements that must be met or the motion will be procedurally barred and dismissed. Call 3850 lawyer Jason T. Forman today at 855-286-3154 to speak to an experienced post conviction lawyer who can help you try to vacate or withdraw your plea or obtain a new trial. Of course, we handle post conviction cases throughout the State of Florida!

In addition to having excellent writing skills, the most important skill a post-conviction attorney must have is the ability to identify issues that can be raised. Many criminal defense attorneys think that they can handle 3.850 post conviction motions and accept them merely because they do not want to turn away a paying client.

However, the mistakes that these attorneys will certainly make will not only prevent you from obtaining relief in State Court, but it could also prevent you from receiving any relief when you file your Petition for Habeas Corpus in Federal Court under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. You need a well respected and experienced post conviction lawyer who can handle your post conviction claims.

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

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 Mr. Forman also has vast experience representing clients with pending criminal cases, he 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 Mr. Forman 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.

You need an appellate lawyer who will give you the best chance of finding that needle in a haystack. That is why Mr. Forman, with over 23 years of experience, only handles appeals in the State of Florida. His practice 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. After all, it is his skill and experience that you are relying on to get the job done. Mr. Forman will 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 controversial 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 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.

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

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★★★★★

Simply the Best Post Conviction Attorney!

Hiring an attorney for post conviction is a very difficult process...Jason T. Forman is a professional that knows the law and delivers RESULTS!

Real Results

Post Conviction Sexual Battery 30 Year Sentence

Reversed on Appeal

Real Results

Post Conviction Burglary 30 Year Sentence

Reduced to 12 Years

Testimonials

How We Win

Success breeds success. Mr. Forman has earned the reputation as one of the best post-conviction 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 post-conviction 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 post-conviction 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 post-conviction 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 post-conviction 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 post-conviction 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 Motions for Post-Conviction Relief Throughout Florida

Although we are located in South Florida, our firm handles post-conviction relief throughout the entire State of Florida! Mr. Forman will personally handle your 3850 motion for post-conviction relief 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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Can I vacate my plea or withdraw my plea?

Without a doubt, the two most common questions clients ask after they learn that their attorney failed to provide them with effective representation is “Can I withdraw my plea?” and “How do I withdraw my plea?” Throughout Florida, there are three ways to withdraw a plea, also known as vacating a plea. First, if the guilty or no contest plea was entered before sentencing a person can file a Motion to Withdraw Plea before sentencing pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.170(f).

This is a more liberal standard than any other methods because the law favors a trial on the merits. According to this rule, a court is required to withdraw the plea if good cause is shown, but the court also has the discretion to grant the motion regardless. The motion can be made in writing or verbally. There is no time limit when this motion can be filed, as long as it is before sentencing.

The second way to withdraw a plea in Florida is by filing a Motion to Withdraw Plea after sentencing pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.170(l). Because the motion is being filed after sentence was imposed, the burden is much higher. In order to prevail, you must demonstrate that a manifest injustice occurred. What does a manifest injustice mean? Florida caselaw, including from the Fourth District Court of Appeals, has found that a manifest injustice occurs if the defendant proves that his or her plea was involuntarily entered or that counsel was ineffective. A plea is involuntary if it is not knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily entered. Critically, this motion must be filed within 30 days after the date of sentencing.

Finally, the third way to vacate a plea is by filing a motion for post conviction relief under rule 3850 or the actual rule, Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. If you miss the 30 day deadline to file a motion to withdraw plea, this is the only way to attack your plea. This is a more difficult standard than a motion filed under rule 3.170(l). Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.850 allows you to challenge the voluntariness of your plea in the same manner as rule 3.170. Either way, the prosecutor will fight you tooth and nail unless you obtain the type of leverage that only an experienced and well respected 3850 lawyer will give you. Call the Law Offices of Jason T. Forman at 855-286-3154 to speak to a former prosecutor with over 20 years of criminal appellate experience.

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What are some grounds that can be raised in a Florida 3.850 (3850) motion?

In addition to vacating a plea, the most common claim under a rule 3.850 or 3850 motion is an ineffective assistance of counsel claim.  Although Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 specifically lists only six grounds for a 3.850 motion, these six grounds are general and very broad. As such, they cover every possible specific claim, including ineffective assistance of counsel claims.  There are too many subsets to list, but some examples would include failure to convey a plea offer, ineffective assistance of counsel at trial, failure to act effectively during the plea process, giving misadvice to a client, failing to call a witness to testify, failing to investigate a defense, failing to file a motion to suppress, as well dozens of other reasons.  The general grounds which these fall into are set forth in Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.850(a):

(a) Grounds for Motion. The following grounds may be claims for relief from judgment or release from custody by a person who has been tried and found guilty or has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere before a court established by the laws of Florida:

(1) The judgment was entered or sentence was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or the State of Florida.

(2) The court did not have jurisdiction to enter the judgment.

(3) The court did not have jurisdiction to impose the sentence.

(4) The sentence exceeded the maximum authorized by law.

(5) The plea was involuntary.

(6) The judgment or sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack.

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What are the time limitations of a 3.850 motion for post conviction relief?

Unfortunately, a motion for post-conviction relief filed under rule 3.850 does not allow a defendant to sit and wait to file this motion, unless the sentence exceeds the maximum legal sentence by Florida law.  The courts have imposed strict deadlines in an effort to promote finality in sentences and convictions.  Here are the time limitations set forth by Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.850(b):

(b) Time Limitations. A motion to vacate a sentence that exceeds the limits provided by law may be filed at any time. No other motion shall be filed or considered pursuant to this rule if filed more than 2 years after the judgment and sentence become final unless it alleges that

(1) the facts on which the claim is predicated were unknown to the movant or the movant’s attorney and could not have been ascertained by the exercise of due diligence, and the claim is made within 2 years of the time the new facts were or could have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence, otherwise known as newly discovered evidence, or

(2) the fundamental constitutional right asserted was not established within the period provided for herein and has been held to apply retroactively, and the claim is made within 2 years of the date of the mandate of the decision announcing the retroactivity, or

(3) the defendant retained counsel to timely file a 3.850 motion and counsel, through neglect, failed to file the motion. A claim based on this exception shall not be filed more than 2 years after the expiration of the time for a motion for post conviction relief.

Determining when the two year time limit begins can sometimes get complicated.  For instance, Mr. Forman was hired by a client who was told by several attorneys that the two year time period for filing a motion for post conviction relief had already expired. These other attorneys, who obviously were inexperienced, failed to realize that a defendant actually has an additional 30 days if no appeal was filed after their plea or conviction.

That’s right, if no appeal is taken, a conviction does not become final until 2 years and 30 days! Pearson v. State, 141 So.3d 722 (Fla. 3rd DCA 2014).  Since Mr. Forman was aware of this nuance, he was able to timely file the client’s 3.850 motion for post conviction relief even though he only had 20 days left.

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Can I file a motion for post conviction relief after the 2 year time period expired?

The answer is sometimes, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, an untimely motion for post conviction relief is procedurally  barred unless it falls into one of the exceptions set forth in Florida Criminal Rule of Procedure 3.850(b) which is listed above.  However, an experienced 3.850 lawyer can sometimes find an exception to the exception.  This can be done in a variety of ways, such as showing that no crime occurred as a matter of law or by relying upon the manifest injustice doctrine, which allows claims to be presented even if time barred or already raised and denied.

Overcoming an expired time period to file a motion for post conviction relief under rule 3.850 is a very difficult task. Only an experienced 3850 lawyer can make an honest assessment and see if it is possible in your case.  Call post conviction lawyer Jason Forman at 855-286-3154 today in order to see what can be done in your case.

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Does a 3.850 motion have to be sworn to by a defendant?

Yes, a Motion for Post Conviction Relief filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.850 must be sworn to by the defendant.  This can be either with a notary or without a notary.  A 3.850 motion is often filed pro-se (without an attorney) by an inmate in the Florida Department of Corrections without a notary being available.  In order to assist these inmates, Florida Stat. 92.525, as well as Florida caselaw, such as State v. Shearer, 628 So.2d 1102 (Fla.1993) allows an Unnotarized Oath at the end of the 3.850 motion. This is a valid oath under current Florida Law.

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What content do I have to include in my Florida Motion for Post Conviction Relief filed under Rule 3.850?

This Unnotarized Oath will satisfy the requirement that all 3.850 motions be sworn to by the defendant.  In addition to the oath, all motions for post conviction relief filed under Rule 3.850 must include the following, pursuant to 3.850(c):

(c) Contents of Motion. The motion must be under oath stating that the defendant has read the motion or that it has been read to him or her, that the defendant understands its content, and that all of the facts stated therein are true and correct. The motion must also include an explanation of:

(1) the judgment or sentence under attack and the court that rendered the same;

(2) whether the judgment resulted from a plea or a trial;

(3) whether there was an appeal from the judgment or sentence and the disposition thereof;

(4) whether a previous post conviction motion has been filed, and if so, how many;

(5) if a previous motion or motions have been filed, the reason or reasons the claim or claims in the present motion were not raised in the former motion or motions;

(6) the nature of the relief sought; and

(7) a brief statement of the facts and other conditions relied on in support of the motion.

This rule does not authorize relief based on grounds that could have or should have been raised at trial and, if properly preserved, on direct appeal of the judgment and sentence. If the defendant is filing a newly discovered evidence claim based on recanted trial testimony or on a newly discovered witness, the defendant shall include an affidavit from that person as an attachment to his or her motion. For all other newly discovered evidence claims, the defendant shall attach an affidavit from any person whose testimony is necessary to factually support the defendant’s claim for relief. If the affidavit is not attached to the motion, the defendant shall provide an explanation why the required affidavit could not be obtained.

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What format do I use to file a 3.850 motion?

If you are filing a motion for post conviction relief under rule 3.850, the failure to draft the motion properly will result in the motion being dismissed, most likely without prejudice.  This will require you to refile the motion.  However, to avoid any problems with your motion, especially since it is time sensitive, you must draft your motion in the following form:

(d) Form of Motion. Motions shall be typewritten or hand-written in legible printed lettering, in blue or black ink, double-spaced, with margins no less than 1 inch on white 8 1/2-by-11 inch paper. No motion, including any memorandum of law, shall exceed 50 pages without leave of the court upon a showing of good cause.

Interestingly, there is no font size requirement in the rule.  There is only a page limitation expressly provided.  Although you should be able to express your arguments in 50 pages, a small tweak in font size might allow you to add some additional paragraphs.  However, I would not advise using a font less than Times Roman 14 or Courier 12 font. You should also check to see if there are any local rules in your jurisdiction.

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Can I get a sample 3850 motion that I can use to file my motion?

Good news.  The Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure provides a Model Form for filing a 3.850 motion.  Click here to view a Model Form for a Florida  Motion for Post-Conviction Relief under Rule 3.850 or 3850.  Of course, you must draft the sworn motion to fit the specific details of your case.  Do not simply make conclusory arguments without factual and legal support.  An example of a conclusory argument would be “My lawyer was ineffective” or “My lawyer deprived me of my Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel”.  While those certainly may be included in your motion, the failure to specifically allege what your lawyer did wrong will result in your motion being denied.

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How can a 3850 motion help a defendant in Florida Prison?

In addition to having a sentence and conviction vacated, a motion for post-conviction relief can also be used to help negotiate a lower sentence with the government. Once the government receives a motion for post-conviction filed on behalf of a client which has merit, it sometimes causes the government to negotiate a more favorable sentence. Sometimes, the possibility of filing a meritorious motion for post-conviction relief under rule 3.850 can be successful as well. Mr. Forman has personally used this approach to reduce sentences on several occasions, including reducing a 25 year attempted murder sentence to only 8 years and probation after he discovered perjury by the listed victim in the case.

As you can see, the filing of a motion for post conviction relief under rule 3.850 is actually very complicated and requires that very specific matters be alleged.  You are at a tremendous disadvantage if you attempt to use a prison law clerk who works for Honey buns.   If you or a loved one need an experienced Florida Post-Conviction Attorney to handle a 3850 motion for post-conviction relief, or if you are simply trying to reduce a lengthy prison sentence, trying to “withdraw my plea” or trying to “vacate my plea”, call an experienced and well-respected Florida 3850 post conviction lawyer at 855-286-3154 to discuss your case. Call now to avoid missing the critical deadline to file the motion.

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Can I hire the firm to file a 3850 motion anywhere in Florida?

Yes, our firm can represent you or a loved one in any city or county in the State of Florida.  In fact, we have handled cases throughout the State of Florida, including in Liberty County – the smallest county in the State of Florida! Regardless whether you need a Tampa 3850 lawyer, a Tallahassee 3850 lawyer, Orlando 3850 lawyer, Miami 3850 lawyer, Palm Beach 3850 lawyer, West Palm Beach 3850 lawyer, Daytona Beach 3850 lawyer, St. Petersburg 3850 lawyer, Jacksonville 3850 lawyer, Pensacola 3850 lawyer, Port St. Lucie 3850 lawyer, Polk 3850 lawyer, Collier 3850 lawyer, Marion 3850 lawyer, we will gladly represent you!  Obviously, we can file a 3850 in any county listed below and in each circuit:

If you are looking for an experienced, aggressive and most importantly, highly skilled Florida 3850 lawyer, call the Law Offices of Jason T. Forman at 855-286-3154 and learn how we can help you!

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