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Experienced Representation For Your Appellate Case

If you believe a legal error that was committed by your attorney, the prosecution or the judge during your criminal trial had a significant, harmful effect on the outcome, you may appeal the decision or file a motion for post-conviction relief based upon various legal grounds. You may also appeal a verdict if you believe the evidence did not support it or if the sentencing did not follow state or federal guidelines.

At O’Brien Hatfield Reese, PA, we represent clients who seek to appeal federal and state criminal law decisions. We can also assist other law firms that do not do appellate work. Our appeals and post-conviction motion attorneys will begin by reviewing your case and discussing your chances of success. If we determine that there are no legal grounds for an appeal, we will tell you immediately.

25 Year Sentence Vacated


Read About Our Other Cases

We have achieved tremendous appellate and post-conviction results, including vacating a life sentence in the case of UNITED STATES v. RODRIGUEZ. As a result of our efforts, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals vacated our client’s life sentence and remanded the case to district court. We made sure that justice was served for our client, whose family had hired us after he was sentenced to life in prison while being represented by a court appointed (CJA) lawyer. View more appellate and post-conviction wins.

The Second District Court of Appeal, after a full briefing and oral argument, sided with O’Brien Hatfield Reese, PA in a recent direct appeal. While represented by an attorney unaffiliated with our firm, a jury convicted Marcus Sanders of trafficking 200 grams of methamphetamine and sentenced to twenty-five years by Judge Steinbeck in Lee County, Florida.

Judge Black, along with Judge Wallace and Judge LaRose, ruled the circuit court judge erred in denying Mr. Sanders’ motion for judgment of acquittal and reversed his judgment and sentence and remanded him for discharge. Mr. Sanders is a free man. In reaching his decision Judge Black opined: “In short, the only evidence presented by the State to establish possession was Sanders’ close proximity to the bag containing contraband and his “unusual” behavior. This court has repeatedly held that such evidence is insufficient.” Attorney Rachael E. Reese handled this direct appeal. Sanders v. State, 15-2360 (2nd DCA 2017).

This video captures the moment we told Mr. Sanders of his appellate victory through a prison phone call. From the point he was arrested to the point of this call, Mr. Sanders fought for nearly three years to right his wrongful arrest and conviction. While no one can return those three years to Mr. Sanders, we are thrilled to return him, as a free man, to the rest of his life. In this video you are able to hear the raw emotion in Mr. Sanders’ voice when he learns his fight resulted in victory. Mr. Sanders graciously allowed us to post this video to our website to give hope to anyone going through the same struggle he went through.

Learn The Basics Of An Appeal

It is important to understand that appealing a criminal court decision is a challenge. The burden of proof lies with the party making the appeal. To successfully appeal, you must have credible evidence to support your assertion that a legal error negatively affected the outcome of your case or that the evidence presented at your trial did not support the verdict.

The appellate court does not conduct a new trial. It reviews the record of the trial and may either:

  • Affirm the trial court’s decision
  • Order a new trial
  • Modify the ruling
  • Consider new facts or evidence, though this is rare
  • Throw out the case, which is extremely rare

Find Out About Post-Conviction Motions

There are times when an appeal is not possible. This may be because an objection was not made in time, the final judgment has not been entered but the defendant needs the matter addressed immediately, the matter is urgent, an appeal has been unsuccessful or deadlines have expired. In these cases, filing a post-conviction motion may be effective. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may file a motion to withdraw a plea, a motion for a new trial, a motion to set aside a sentence, a habeas corpus petition or a motion that you received ineffective assistance of counsel, to name a few.

Contact A Federal And State Appeals Attorney

At O’Brien Hatfield Reese, PA, our results for many of our clients facing state and federal appeals speak for themselves. For a free initial consultation, please call our Tampa office at 813-345-4909, the Orlando office at 888-496-5916 or contact us online.