Appellate Law, Criminal Defense, Criminal Appeals & Criminal Appellate Review and Post Conviction Relief in Florida Courts, Federal District Courts and the 11th Circuit for Criminal Attorneys, Criminal Lawyers & Appellate Lawyers
Well, by now you have all probably heard that Casey Anthony was sentenced to 1 year incarceration for each count of lying to a police officer, consecutive, which means she was sentenced to a total of 4 years. (The Court also imposed a $1,000 fine and court costs for each count, and the prosecutor stated that the State would be seeking to recover the costs of investigation and prosecution of the case). According to a CNN report, after adding up all the jail credits, it appears that Anthony will be released on July 13, 2011. Even though Anthony’s defense attorneys mentioned the possibility of an appeal of the sentence based on the double jeopardy issue which was raised at the televised hearing, I would be surprised if any appeal will be filed now. If Anthony is going to be released in a week, why waste time with an appeal?
The Court will consider the State’s motion to recover the costs of investigation and prosecution at a later date. Meanwhile, a company named Texas Equusearch is seeking to recover the $112,000 it spent trying to locate Caylee, and Zenaida Gonzalez, otherwise known as “Zanny the Nanny,” has apparently filed an action for defamation against Anthony based on Anthony’s false statements that she left Caylee in her care. Ms. Gonzalez denies ever meeting Anthony. No reports yet on whether the State of Florida will try to pursue perjury charges against Casey Anthony’s mother. Under Florida Statute section 837.02, making a false statement under oath in an official proceeding constitutes either a second or third degree felony. In my personal experience, perjury charges are not often pursued because they are difficult to prove.
Note: In my previous Casey Anthony post, I referred to the felony offenses of providing false information to a police officer under Florida statute section 837.05(2). However, it turns out that in Counts IV through VII, Anthony was only convicted of the misdemeanor offenses under Florida Statute section 837.05(1) which carry the lighter maximum penalty of up to 1 year incarceration.
Whether a party is in State or Federal court, whenever a court renders an adverse decision, a party should consider several factors in deciding whether to appeal the order, including: (1) whether there is a right to appeal the order; (2) when the appeal may be filed; (3) what are the time limits governing the appeal; (4) in which court will the appeal lie; (5) what is the applicable standard of review; and, (6) what are the costs associated with the appeal.
With regard to the right to appeal, parties should be aware that some orders may not be immediately appealable. Rather, the rules may provide that the appeal may only be heard at the end of the case.
With regard to the time of the appeal and applicable time limits, the parties may wish to consult the appellate rules for guidance on the time in which notices of appeal, appellate briefs, and appeals-related motions should be filed. Failure to follow the applicable rules may result in a party losing the appeal. The Rules for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit may be found here. The Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure may be found here.
In determining where to file the appeal, appeals in both the State and Federal system generally lie with the next higher court. For example, State court cases in the County Court may be appealed to the Circuit Court, and Circuit Court cases may be appealed to the District Court of Appeal. Opinions rendered by any of the Florida District Courts of Appeal may be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. In the Federal system, orders issued by a United States Magistrate Judge may be appealed to the United States District Court, District Court orders may be appealed to the Eleventh Circuit, and opinions issued by the Eleventh Circuit may be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
Standards of review on appeal include de novo and abuse of discretion. A party should be aware that the likelihood of success on appeal may be determined in large part by the applicable standard of review.
Finally, a party should be aware that costs of an appeal may be substantial. Prior to deciding whether to appeal, a party may wish to consider the costs associated with filing the notice of appeal, designating the record and transcripts, and filing briefs and motions. Having counsel attend oral argument may also add to the cost of appeal.