Murder Conviction Upheld by Florida Appeals Court

behind barsThe United States criminal justice system is based on the idea that defendants are innocent until proven guilty. The court wants to make sure that when someone is found guilty by a jury, they are actually guilty. There are safeguards built into the criminal justice system to protect innocent defendants from being found guilty. In practice, that means that there needs to be adequate evidence to uphold a conviction. If you have been charged with or convicted of a crime, your experienced Clearwater criminal defense attorney can help you make sure that the prosecution is forced to meet their burden of proof. If they don’t, or later an appeals court determines that there was not enough evidence to uphold the conviction, your conviction may be overturned.

Florida Evidentiary Burden

In Florida – as in the rest of the country – the prosecution has the burden of proving each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. It is up to the jury to decide whether or not the prosecution has met their burden. Whether there is enough evidence to sustain the conviction is a question that only comes up on appeal, since of course there cannot be a conviction until after the trial. Thus, if a defendant is convicted of a crime and believes there was not enough evidence to uphold the conviction, they can appeal the decision.

On appeal, the court will examine the case and any other documents submitted by your Florida criminal defense attorney. They will look at the evidence to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to uphold the conviction. If there was not enough evidence the court can throw out the conviction.

Preserving Claims

In this case, the defendant was convicted of burglary and second-degree felony murder. The prosecution presented evidence that showed that two men kicked down a front door. They entered the apartment and the resident of the apartment shot and killed one man and shot toward the other man who was fleeing. When the police arrested the defendant he was found with a shoulder injury likely caused by a gunshot wound. There was also evidence on the defendant’s cell phone that tied him to the burglary. There was also evidence tying the defendant’s blood to the vehicle that was witnessed leaving the scene of the burglary.

Before the close of the trial, defendant’s counsel moved for an acquittal. The attorney argued that there was no evidence that the defendant was actually in possession of a firearm. The judge denied the motion and the jury went on to find the defendant guilty. On appeal, the defendant’s counsel argued that there was not sufficient evidence of his guilt and the conviction should be overturned due to fundamental error.

However, the court disagreed and upheld the conviction. They held that since the attorney did not bring up this specific matter during the trial, it was not preserved on appeal. Therefore, the conviction will stand.

Contact a Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

If you or a loved one have been charged with murder or another violent crime, you should have an attorney on your side that will zealously defend you. The Clearwater violent crimes criminal defense attorneys at Hanlon Law Firm have the knowledge and experience that you need. Call our offices at (727) 897-5413 or contact us online to speak with our attorneys today!

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Florida Burglary Becomes Felony Murder Case

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