posted 2019 | State v. M.F. (Hernando)
This case was a long fought battle which resulted in a fair resolution. The Client was charged with Aggravated Battery and was placed on probation for 3 years. The client quickly violated probation several times and was ultimately arrested for new drug charges. She was represented by a public defender and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The client filed a pro-se motion to withdraw her plea, but the motion was denied. She then filed a motion for post-conviction relief and later contacted Mr. Forman. Mr. Forman told the client to wait and see if a hearing was going to be granted. The client and Mr. Forman stayed in touch for over a year until something happened on the case. Although the client’s motion was technically deficient in many ways, the trial court granted an evidentiary hearing.
However, the client really had no chance of prevailing on the motion as presented. Mr. Forman was hired and decided to focus on a single claim – that counsel was ineffective for failing to use an expert at the client’s sentencing hearing. The Client was hesitant to focus only on one claim, but Mr. Forman explained to her the reason for his recommendation and the pros and cons of doing so.
The client trusted Mr. Forman’s advice and Mr. Forman hired a local respected clinical psychologist to evaluate the client. The doctor’s report and evaluation were beneficial to the client so Mr. Forman filed an amended motion for post-conviction relief. The doctor appeared at the evidentiary hearing and was ready to testify at the hearing. Mr. Forman and his client were also present.
After many discussions, the prosecutor conceded that the claim had merit and agreed to re-sentence the client to 5 years in prison and the remainder on supervision with residential treatment. The client quickly agreed to be re-sentenced and was released from prison a week later! Client was very happy.