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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26800
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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i have a friend in prison that is a convicted felon. he has

Customer Question

i have a friend in prison that is a convicted felon. he has been in there since 2007. he got convicted on a charge that he didnt do.. but the cops say he did.. but as far as i know they cant prove he done it. But, im looking for help to get him out.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

You have said that your friend got convicted for this offense. That means that either the state proved the charges against him beyond a reasonable doubt or he admitted guilt and took a plea.

Did he appeal this? Use the reply tab below.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

im not sure.

but he said the gun charge was bull an didnt have a gun or anything.

idk im just tryin to get him help.

i need a low cost lawyer if there is any..

his charges are..

03/06/2007ROBB. NO GUN/DDLY.WPN(ATTEMPTED)10/10/2007HIGHLANDS07002405Y 0M 0D
05/11/2007FEL/DELI W/GUN/CONC WPN/AMMO10/10/2007HIGHLANDS070051310Y 0M 0D
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

he is getting all his case numbers an etc together for me where i can start tryin to find him help.

plus he has heart problems an just had heart surgery he has a pace maker

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.

Hi Violet,

I'm not sure you'll be able to do anything for your friend as far as an appeal is concerned. He was convicted of this crime several years ago. Like I said, that means he either admitted that he was guilty to take a plea or a jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty.

I don't know how his conviction came about, and you don't either. But when a person feels his conviction is unjust, he has 30 days after his sentencing to file a notice of appeal.

You don't know whether he appealed this case, but if he did and it was denied, there's really nothing left to do. He can try to take it to a higher court, but they don't have to hear that appeal.

If he didn't file the notice of appeal within 30 days and he never appealed his sentence, then almost all of the grounds for an appeal that he once had are no longer available to him. And he could only appeal if he has newly discovered evidence that nobody could have known about back when he was convicted, or if the statute he was convicted under turned out to be unconstitutional, of if his sentence was illegal.

It doesn't sound from what you have said that any of those would apply. But if, for example, a key witness were to recant his testimony or, as another example, DNA evidence could show he could not have been the one to commit a crime, these are the kinds of facts at this point that would still allow him to appeal.

You do, however mention a heart condition. If his condition is terminal and it's been medically determined that he doesn't have more than 6 month to live, he can apply to Parole for a Conditional Medical Release. If Parole is not receptive, he could petition the governor for medical clemency. The governor has the power to commute his sentence or release him early.

Either way he's going to need a lawyer to file and argue this petition. The public defender's office would be a good place to start. They don't usually do post-conviction work in general, but they would know who does and what forms of pro-bono assistance he may be able to get in Florida.

Another source of help, particularly if he isn't getting good care in prison, would be the American Civil Liberties Union. They deal with inmate rights of all sorts and if they couldn't assist him they might know of a free lawyer in the area who would.

Finally you can check out area law schools. Some of them have criminal justice clinics that take on cases for people in the community. They are either free or have a sliding fee scale. Law students do the researching and the writing under the supervision of a professor/lawyer and some of these have very fine reputations. Here are some links to the criminal clinics in the state of Florida.

Good luck!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

k thanks. can i get back with u w/in a few days if need to b.

ill tell him what u said tomorrow an c if he has anything for me to ask.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Sure, that's fine. This thread belongs to you, so you can always come back and ask a follow up.

Basically, it looks to me that the medical grounds would have the most hope of succeeding. The trick is to get him representation. So starting with the public defender is a good idea. They will likely know who does pro bono post-conviction work.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

k. yeah he has had a pace maker in since hes been there an just had a new one put in like 2 weeks ago.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi Violet,

When you talk to him, find out whether he is getting decent care for his condition, because that could make a difference.