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LegalEagle1
LegalEagle1, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Practicing attorney licensed for over 23 years.
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My son was on Probation met a girl they were living together

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My son was on Probation met a girl they were living together when she told him she was pregnant then told him he probably was not the father they broke up she got a restraining order ( no violence of any kind just arguing) she purposly walk where he could see her a couple months later he had not seen her pregnant knowing he would call sure enough he did left msg to see if she needed anything for her or the baby she called the police he was arrested Oct 8th. I hired an attorney never signed any paperwork with her paid in cash we went to trial she never called any witnesses never depositioned anyone, unknown to me my son had fired her the night before we went to trial she showed up never said nothing to the judge then found out prosecutor had offered a lesser charge which would have been a misdeminor instead of felony she never offered my son, needless to say he got 10 yrs. Need to know if we have grounds for appeal and how long do we have to appeal. We live in Ft. Myers, Florida
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. I would like to assist you with your question today.

I am sorry to hear about your son's situation.

One would need to review to the transcripts of the proceedings in the trial court to determine the basis and what arguments would be viable for an direct appeal in your son's case.

A criminal defense attorney has a duty to communicate plea offers to their client. The attorney's failure to communicate the plea offer to your son may entitle him to relief in a post-conviction proceeding.

In 2012 the United States Supreme Court addressed a fact pattern similar to what you have presented in Missouri v. Frye, No. 10-444.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-444.pdf



In Frye, the defendant entered a plea of guilty to the charge of driving with a revoked license. After being sentenced, he filed a motion for post-conviction relief based on his attorney’s failure to communicate a plea offer which had lapsed prior to his entering the plea. Frye testified at an evidentiary hearing that he would have entered a guilty plea to the misdemeanor had he known about the offer.

Your son should have his case reviewed by experienced criminal attorney who is experienced in representing clients on direct appeals and post-conviction motions.

I hope that I have answered your question. Please let me know if you have more questions or need more information.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How about the fact that my son had signed no paperwork of any kind with this attorney neither had I and we paid in cash and the fact that he had fired her the night before we went to trial?
Expert:  LegalEagle1 replied 1 year ago.
Florida Bar Rule 4-15 does not require that an attorney's fee agreement be in writing. It does suggest that it is though.

Rule 4-15(e) provides:

Duty to Communicate Basis or Rate of Fee or Costs to Client. When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the basis or rate of the fee and costs shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation. A fee for legal services that is nonrefundable in any part shall be confirmed in writing and shall explain the intent of the parties as to the nature and amount of the nonrefundable fee. The test of reasonableness found in subdivision (b), above, applies to all fees for legal services without regard to their characterization by the parties.

http://www.floridabar.org/divexe/rrtfb.nsf/FV/A8644F215162F9DE85257164004C0429

I do not see how an issue involving if the fee agreement was in writing or not would provide relief for your son. The fact that attorney continued to represent him may be. One would review the transcripts of the trial to determine what if any impact this may have upon his situation. When your son discusses the failure to communicate the plea offer with the appellate/post-conviction attorney he should advise them of this issue and have them review the court record to determine what use this may be.

The firing issue (like the failure to communicate a plea offer) seems to contain facts that are most likely not included in the trial court's record. If this is the case, they will most like have to be presented on a post-conviction basis.

I hope that I have answered your question. Please let me know if you have more questions or need more information.

_________________________________________________________________
Please rate my answers with a positive rating (three or more stars) as this is the only way I receive credit and compensation for my work. If you have additional questions or need more information, please ask.

My goal is to provide with best assistance that I can. Please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Also keep in mind that the law may not always be settled or may not support the position you want. My role is not to tell you what you want to hear. but to provide you accurate information as to what the law provides. Please do not rate me poorly just because the information I have provided does not support the outcome you desire.

You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-legaleagle1 also begin your question with “For LegalEagle1”
_________________________________________________________________
Use of this service does not create any attorney client relationship. Information provided is intended to explain general legal principles and assist you in finding an attorney in your area.

Please click "Great" or better to rate service.
LegalEagle1, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 746
Experience: Practicing attorney licensed for over 23 years.
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