If you have pled guilty to a crime, or been found guilty, you may think that your options are over, even if you are actually innocent or otherwise treated unjustly. While it is unfortunate, the justice system is not perfect and can make mistakes. Fortunately, there are laws in place that allow these mistakes to be rectified. One option for those who believe they have been unjustly treated is to file a motion to vacate the criminal conviction. If approved, the previous conviction will be set aside and you will have the opportunity to have your trial heard again, this time hopefully getting better results.
In order to have a criminal conviction vacated, you must first have grounds for the motion. This simply means that you need to have a good reason why the conviction should be vacated. There are a number of different types of grounds that can be used in the state of Florida, including the following:
In most cases, the motion to vacate a criminal conviction must happen within two (2) years of the time that the judgment and sentence have been issued. This does not apply, however, if it can be shown that new facts were discovered about the case, if the constitutional right was not established within two (2) years, or if the defendant’s legal counsel neglected to file when they should have.
Whenever filing this type of motion it is critical that it contains all the required details or the courts won’t even hear it. Specifically, the motion must be made under oath saying that the defendant has either read it or had it read to them, and that all the facts within are true. It will also identify the judgment or sentence that the petition wants changed, whether it was from a plea or a trial, whether there was an appeal, whether any post-conviction motions have been filed, and more.
The courts are usually hesitant to grant a motion to vacate because the assumption is that the courts have handled the case correctly up until this point. If you wish to have your conviction vacated, you need to make sure everything is handled perfectly to avoid any problems. The best place to start is by working with an attorney with experience in this area. Please contact us to set up a strategy session and learn more about your options.