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

Murder conviction reversed on appeal (update)

posted 2018 | State v. JS (Duval County)

This came back to the trial court after Mr. Forman was able to vacate the second degree felony murder conviction and 22 year prison sentence. After handling the appeal, Mr. Forman was also retained to handle the trial in Duval County. Although the conspiracy charge was still intact, Mr. Forman knew that a motion for post-conviction relief could be filed in order to challenge the improper application of the principals instruction to the conspiracy offense, which would result in a new trial on that offense as well.

Before filing the motion, Mr. Forman made a strategic decision to postpone filing this motion and pursue a different course of action. While reading the deposition of a crucial state witness, Mr. Forman quickly recognized an affirmative defense that former trial counsel obviously did not – abandonment. Mr. Forman filed a sworn motion to dismiss asserting this defense, which, although not perfect, presented a significant problem for the state.

Filing the motion to dismiss provided the leverage that the client needed for a successful result in his case. Instead of serving 22 years in prison, Mr. Forman was able to resolve the case and the client will be released in June 2018 followed by probation! The client’s prison sentence was reduced by 17 years!

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