posted 2016 | State v. TB (Lee County)
This is a great example of how the lawyer you choose can make the difference! The client was charged in Lee county with trafficking in oxycodone pills and conspiracy to traffic, both offenses carrying a 25 year minimum mandatory sentence. The client was represented by another attorney and was found guilty of both charges. Unfortunately, he was sentenced to a mandatory 25 years in prison. Mr. Forman was hired to handle the appeal, but unfortunately the conviction and sentence were affirmed.
However, when preparing every appeal, Mr. Forman always anticipates the next move just in case the appeal is denied. Here, he knew that there were several issues that could be raised in a motion for post conviction relief. Mr. Forman was hired to handle the 3.850 motion and raised the issues that he found while drafting the initial direct appeal. Two of the issues that he discovered involved erroneous jury instructions that were given to the jury regarding the conspiracy offense and the lawful prescription defense. Neither the judge, the prosecutor, nor former defense counsel noticed these errors. They were only noticed by Mr. Forman.
An evidentiary hearing was scheduled before the same judge who handled the trial. Two days before the hearing, the prosecutor asked if the client would take a 10 year sentence reduction. The client refused to accept the deal and told Mr. Forman that he knew that Mr. Forman would win the hearing, certainly a big gamble. At the evidentiary hearing, the trial court heard the testimony of 3 lawyers, as well as the defendant and his mother. The same judge who presided over the trial granted the motion for post conviction relief and ordered that the client be given a new trial for those charges. His two 25 year minimum mandatory sentences were vacated! Client and his family were thrilled with the outcome.