POSTED 2022 | STATE v. RS (MIAMI-DADE COUNTY)
This is another example of why it is important to choose a lawyer who specializes in criminal appeals and post conviction cases. Client was charged with Trafficking in Heroin in Dade County and his co-defendant was caught on tape. The offense carried a 25 year mandatory minimum sentence so he hired a well-respected trial lawyer to represent him. The State offered the client a 7.5 year plea offer to resolve the case. Based on his conversations with his lawyer, the Client rejected the plea offer and went to trial.
Unfortunately, even the best trial lawyers make mistakes. The client was convicted and was sentenced to the whopping 25-year mandatory sentence. The client then hired another lawyer to handle the direct appeal. The appeal was denied and the client was stuck with his 25-year prison sentence.
The client hired Mr. Forman in order to file a motion for post conviction relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel. He spoke to Mr. Forman and explained his version of what took place. After reviewing the trial transcripts and the entire file, Mr. Forman filed a motion for post conviction claiming twelve grounds for relief.
Mr. Forman argued: trial counsel was ineffective for failing to properly advise the client which caused the rejection of the plea; the rejection of the plea offer was not knowingly and intelligently done; counsel was ineffective for failing to object and move for a mistrial due to the prosecutor’s improper comments in closing argument; counsel was ineffective for failing to meaningfully conduct depositions; counsel was ineffective for making assertions in opening statement; counsel was ineffective for failing to object and move for a mistrial due to improper testimony; counsel was ineffective for not calling an available witness; as well as other claims.
Because the Client was already serving five years in prison on an unrelated charge in another county, Mr. Forman advised the Client that he should attempt to resolve the case if a reasonable plea could be entered. After many months of negotiations, the prosecutor was willing to reduce the Client’s sentence from 25-years in prison to 8.5 years in prison, followed by 6.5 years of probation with eligibility of early termination.
Although the Client believed Mr. Forman filed a strong motion for post-conviction relief, he wisely decided to accept the offer and the motion was conceded to by the State. The Client did not want to take the risk of turning down this opportunity. Instead of having a 2043 release date from prison, the client will be released in 2025. Although this cannot be done in every case, Mr. Forman was pleased he was able to obtain such a drastic reduction in sentence.