posted 2020 | State v. MR (Broward County)
Without a doubt, hiring the right lawyer can make the difference! This tragic case involved a DUI manslaughter where two victims were killed. The client was a bright, young man who made a terrible mistake. The client’s family hired a high-powered DUI lawyer to handle his case. A motion to suppress the evidence was filed, but it was denied. The client’s case was a very difficult case to win, but his lawyer advised him that he could get him a reasonable sentence by filing a motion for downward departure and entering a plea.
The client entered an open plea, which meant that the judge would decide what happened after the sentencing hearing. Normally when a client enters a plea, the sentence is negotiated with the state. The client wanted to make sure that things went well, so he hired a second DUI lawyer to assist. This also did not help. Unfortunately, the judge denied the departure motion and sentenced the client to 23 years in prison.
After an unsuccessful appeal, the client’s family hired Mr. Forman to file a motion for post-conviction relief in order to vacate the plea and try to start over. After multiple edits with his client, Mr. Forman filed a twelve-claim motion alleging that both attorneys were ineffective and that the client’s plea was not voluntary. Although the client and Mr. Forman were ready to go “all the way” with the motion, an opportunity arose for a possible resolution.
After reviewing the motion, and after many months of tough negotiations, Mr. Forman was able to get the client’s prison sentence reduced by 10 years! The client made the decision to forego the motion and took the significant sentence reduction. Success comes in many different forms when handling these difficult motions – especially when the case was initially resolved with by a plea. Of course, the client and his family were very appreciative and pleased with the result! Making wise decisions, especially when hiring a lawyer, is critical.