Florida Court Allows Defendant to Refile Motion in Sex Crimes Case

If a defendant is asking the court for something, usually they need to file a motion. A motion is a document that asks the court to take a specific action. When a defendant files a motion with the court, there are specific requirements that the motion must conform to in order for the court to be willing to consider it. Generally, the motion must include the relief requested and the reasons the court should grant the relief. One of the things that defendants need to be aware of is if that some motions are only allowed to be filed once, and so must include all of the requisite information. It can be confusing, which is where your skilled Clearwater sex crimes defense attorney comes in. They can help you to make sure that any motions you file are complete.

Florida Post-Conviction Relief: 3.850

In a case heard by the Fourth District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida, the motion at issue was a motion for post-conviction relief, based on rule 3.850 in the Florida Criminal Code. The defendant here was convicted of two counts of lewd or lascivious battery on a child over 12 and one count of lewd of lascivious molestation. After his conviction was affirmed on direct appeal, the defendant filed a rule 3.850 motion with the assistance of counsel from the public defender’s office.

Post-conviction relief may be available for defendants when there has been ineffective assistance of counsel, when there are requests for DNA testing, and when there are concerns that the sentence may be illegal. Since this motion is seeking post-conviction relief, it can only be filed after there has been a conviction. Generally a motion of this kind is asking for the original verdict to be vacated and for there to be a new trial.

Here, the defendant’s original motion was related to an error made by the crime lab when they calculated the probability of certain DNA statistics. As a response to this motion, the trial court ordered the state to respond. After this motion was filed the defendant filed another motion saying that he did not realize that by filing the original motion he was waiving his right to file further 3.850 motions. He wanted to include claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and many other grounds on which he believed his conviction should be reversed.

The trial court treated the motions related to DNA evidence as one motion, and denied the relief requested. Once again the defendant informed the court that he did not intend to file the original motion if it foreclosed his ability to file further 3.850 motions. The appeals court here understood that a defendant may be confused with the forms and allowed him to file a new, succinct, legally sufficient motion that raises his ineffective assistance of counsel claims.

Contact an Experienced Clearwater Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Today!

As this case illustrates, it is imperative that defendants are represented by qualified counsel. Many of the issues raised by defendant would have had a better chance had they been raised at trial initially. The Clearwater sex crimes defense attorneys at Hanlon Law Firm zealously and knowledgeably defend clients charged with a crime. Contact us online or call our offices at (727) 897-5413 to speak with our skilled attorneys about your case.

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Competency Issues in Florida Sex Crime Case

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