I'm 47 YO, and 20 years ago I had a quarrel with my then wife who thought I was having an affair. I was trying to get her to listen to my side of the story, when she decided i should leave the house, and threatened to call the police. I did not think i was doing anything wrong, so i said 'go ahead'. She dialed 911 but before anyone could answer she hangs up the phone. Half hour later a patrol car came and told us they had to arrest someone (It's the law they said). Long story short. I was scared to death. The ADA told me to plea no contest and i'll be able to go home, and by pleading no contest, it will never be on my record. Since I had only arrived in the US less than a year prior, I thought he was my savior. Well, that's not the case - I now realize i made a deal with the devil. I would now like to challenge that plea. Is it possible? Please advise. Thanks
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Florida
Hello Jacustomer,Unfortunately, 27 years after you have been convicted of a criminal offense, you can no longer appeal it. A defendant only has 30 days to file a notice of appeal after a conviction and even then you wouldn't get much more than a year to file the appeal itself. At this point in time, about the only way you could legally reopen the case would be if you had newly discovered evidence which could not have been available at the time and which, had the state been aware of it, would have resulted in your matter being dismissed. Unfortunately, from what you're saying there's no such evidence in your case.One thing that can sometimes be available would be to just apply to have your conviction expunged from your record. Unfortunately, however, states are all very different about what they will remove from a record, and Florida is strict. They will not erase an adult conviction. They only will remove unprosecuted arrests, or dismissals. So that too is not an avenue you can pursue.There's a longer than long longshot, where you could hire a private attorney and see if he could convince the judge to just dismiss your old case in the interest of justice. This is an unusual remedy and not one that many judges will even consider. What it says, basically, is "I know that the law is against me and won't let me overturn my conviction, but please do it for me anyway, because it's the right thiing to do." Judges do have the power to do this to prevent an injustice, though they don't like to exercise it. If your lawyer can show a compelling reason that is more important than the state's desire to have their convictions stick, it can be done. You could not do this without a lawyer, however, and it would likely be an expensive procedure with a low likelihood of success.Finally, there is one other remedy open to you. You could try to get a pardon granted from the Florida governor. It's free, you can do it for yourself without a lawyer, and you have nothing to lose. You can read about it and get the forms to fill out here. The office of Executive Clemency does the screening for the governor. A pardon would not erase your felony but would be official proof that the highest official in the state believes you are rehabilitated. It's hard to get, but, if you've gone 20 years without getting in any further trouble, your circumstances will be far more favorable than for many other applicants. Good luck!
18 years of NYC criminal litigation experience.
Thank you. It's grim, but there's a glimmer of hope. I'll run with that!
Hi Mike,Thank you! Sorry not to have been able to give you great news, but I do think given the level of your crime and how long it's been since you've been in trouble, a pardon from the governor has a real chance. Good luck with it!
It was a misdemeanor; my first and last offence, which wasn't really an offence. I wish i knew then what i know now. I would not have taken that public defender's advice. I simply had a quarrel with my ex wife. I've been with my current with for 15 years, married for 5. She'll be the first to attest that i'm a pussy cat. I'm so mad! at what this is doing to my life. it's unbelievable!
Hi,I can imagine. Unfortunately, a lot of people kick themselves for decisons made too quickly when they were younger and didn't think ahead.I hope you get the pardon.
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