posted 2015 | State v. J.J. (Appeal/3.850)
The defendant was charged with trafficking in oxycodone. After a jury trial, the defendant was sentenced to 36 years in Florida State Prison. Mr. Forman was referred this appeal by his client’s trial attorney, who advised Mr. Forman that he did not believe that there was a chance to win on appeal. Mr. Forman handled the direct appeal and found numerous issues that he believed warranted a new trial. However, the trial attorney failed to object during the course of the trial, which precludes winning on appeal.
Due to trial counsel’s failure to object, Mr. Forman sought to have the trafficking conviction vacated due to ineffective assistance of counsel on the face of the record, which is extremely rare. The appellate court issued an opinion indicating that it was concerned about trial counsel’s failure to object, as well as other instances raised by Mr. Forman. This paved the way for a motion for post-conviction relief (3850 motion) under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. The Broward County State Attorney’s Office decided that it was best to negotiate a plea offer and agreed to a 12 year sentence with the defendant’s new attorney. The client was pleased with the result and will be released in less than 2.5 years!