POSTED 2022 | STATE V. PH (BROWARD COUNTY)
The client was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide involving the tragic death of two people. Even though there were no drugs or alcohol involved, he decided to enter an open plea based on his conversations with his lawyer. However, it was later discovered that his lawyer gave him misadvice regarding several matters, including his ability to contest the charges. His lawyer candidly admitted she misadvised the client.
The client filed a motion to withdraw his plea before sentence, pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.170(f). The trial court denied the motion and the client proceeded to sentencing many months later. The client filed a motion for downward departure, which was granted by the trial court. However, the trial court still imposed a 10 year prison sentence followed by probation.
The client was referred to Mr. Forman to represent him on appeal. Mr. Forman filed the appeal challenging the denial of the motion to withdraw plea, but noticed there were potential problems with how the motion to withdraw was handled. The brief addressed these problematic areas, which Mr. Forman thought could also be handled in a motion for post-conviction relief if necessary.
However, this was not necessary since the appellate court granted the appeal, reversed the order denying the motion to withdraw plea, and vacated the 10 year prison sentence. The State filed a motion for rehearing, which was denied. The client is now free and is able to fight his case.