Former Prosecutor with over 24 years of experience

Appellate Case Results

Since its inception in 2000, the Law Offices of Jason T. Forman has achieved successful results for their clients. Of course, what is deemed a successful outcome depends on the facts and circumstances of each individual case, as well as the needs of each client. This page contains only a small sample of the successful results that Mr. Forman was able to achieve for his clients over the years. Results may not be typical and you may not have as beneficial as a result. Also, the date that the case result posted may not be the date that the case was resolved. Nevertheless, we will certainly do everything that we legally can do to achieve your desired goal!

55 Appellate Case Results

Murder conviction reversed on appeal! New trial ordered.

posted 2017 | State v. JS (Duval County) 

Once again, this is the perfect example of how an experienced criminal appellate lawyer makes a difference! The client was convicted of second degree murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery in Jacksonville. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison.  After looking for a great appellate attorney, his parents decided to hire Mr. Forman. After reviewing the transcripts, Mr. Forman discovered something that nether the judge, prosecutor or defense counsel noticed – that the conspiracy offense could not be used in order to conviction for second degree felony murder.  Because defense counsel did not notice and failed to object, Mr. Forman was forced to rely on the dreaded fundamental error standard, a very difficult appellate standard of review.

Despite having to overcome this standard, Mr. Forman was able to convince the court to vacate the murder conviction and ordered a new trial!  Since the conspiracy conviction remained intact, the client is entitled to be re-sentenced.  This is critical because the trial judge wanted to give a less harsh sentence, but he was forced to give the 22 years because it was the minimum allowed by law.  It is unknown whether the client will go to trial or try to negotiate the plea offer given before trial, which was only 3 years in prison. Again, this was another successful appeal where Mr. Forman noticed an error that no else knew existed, not even the judge. Since this just happened, an update will be posted.

Motion to Withdraw Plea Granted. Another 15 year prison sentence reduced to 5!

posted 2017 | State v. JJ

Hire the right lawyer, get the best possible result! This case was a bit crazy and involved a judge’s son who was arrested for several counts of trafficking drugs which carried a 15 year minimum mandatory sentence. The client was represented by another criminal defense attorney and decided that he would perform substantial assistance. The client signed an agreement that expressly stated that if he failed to abide by the rules, then he would automatically be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Unfortunately, the client relapsed and continued to use drugs.  He also failed a polygraph test.  Since the judge’s son already entered into a plea, sending him to prison for 15 years was simply a formality. Recognizing the need for a solid criminal appellate lawyer, Mr. Forman was retained as co-counsel in order to find a way to avoid the 15 year prison sentence. Once again, Mr. Forman found a way to get it done. After combing through the paperwork, Mr. Forman discovered that the trial court never officially accepted the client’s plea- a minor technically that few attorney’s would notice. In fact, the judge, prosecutor and trial counsel did not even notice this error.

The trial court agreed and vacated the client’s plea! Mr. Forman and his co-counsel prepared the case for trial and filed several motions to dismiss based upon entrapment. Depositions were conducted, even as far as in Oklahoma. Since the client had already been in custody for over two years, Mr. Forman and co-counsel were able to convince the prosecutor to give the client a five year sentence, with credit for the two years that he served.  Needless to say, the client and his family were thankful that Mr. Forman was able to reduce his sentence by 10 years. 

Writ of Prohibition Granted! Removal of Biased Judge!

posted 2017 | State v. JR

This is why you need a lawyer who is willing to fight hard for his clients, even if it means challenging a judge. Client was charged with armed burglary and fifty-five counts of grand theft of a firearm. After reviewing the case, Mr. Forman determined that several motions had to be filed in order to reduce the charges and exclude the evidence discovered upon a unlawful search. However, before filing the motions, Mr. Forman discovered that the judge’s spouse was a detective for the same police agency who arrested the client. The judge did not disclose this critical fact.

Upon learning of this fact, Mr. Forman knew that his client’s motions would never be granted because the credibility of the officers would be challenged. Mr. Forman filed a motion to disqualify the judge, arguing that the client was afraid that he would not receive a fair hearing.  Surprisingly, the judge denied the motion. Based on his past experience, Mr. Forman knew that an appeal would get the job done. As expected, Mr. Forman won the appeal and his petition for writ of prohibition was granted! The client was thrilled and is hopeful for a fair resolution.

15 year sentence reduced to less than 5 years after reversal! (update)

posted 2016 | State v. B.D

This is an update from the post listed below where Mr. Forman was able to obtain a reversal of the trial court’s denial of his motion for disqualification. The client was sentenced to 15 years after he entered an open plea.  After winning the appeal, the case was sent to another judge as required by the appellate court. Amazingly, the prosecutor agreed to stipulate to the motion to mitigate and the client was sentence to time served (4 years and 352 days)!  He was released last week just in time for the holidays. Mr. Forman was able to help give his client a decade of his life back.  The lawyer you hire can certainly make a difference!

Denial of motion for disqualification reversed on appeal!

posted 2016 | B.D. v. State (Broward)

This is another example of how the appellate lawyer you choose makes all the difference! This case was highly publicized and involved 10 co-defendants accused of operating a boiler room.  The defendants were charged with numerous offenses, including organized scheme to defraud, punishable by 30 years in prison.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars were involved in the fraud.

One of the defendants entered an open plea to the judge, who was known as the toughest judge in the county. Shockingly, this defendant was sentenced to 15 years in prison.  All of the other co-defendants subsequently resolved their case and received supervision and no jail time.

Mr. Forman was hired to help the client withdraw his plea, arguing several grounds, including that the judge was biased against indigent defendants who were unable to afford to pay restitution. This was based upon a recent case that Mr. Forman was very familiar with because he used before to obtain relief. Mr. Forman filed a motion to disqualify the judge based upon this bias.  A motion to mitigate sentence was also filed, arguing that the sentence imposed was disproportionate to the sentences imposed in all of the other cases.

Mr. Forman knew that if the motion for disqualification was granted, the motion to withdraw plea and the motion to mitigate his sentence would have to be heard by a different judge. Mr. Forman had no doubt that the 15 year sentence would be greatly reduced, but only if another judge heard the case. As expected, the judge denied the motion for disqualification.

Knowing that obtaining a new unbiased judge was critical in this case, Mr. Forman filed an appeal – a petition for writ of prohibition – in the appellate court. Mr. Forman was confident that the appeal would be granted because of existing caselaw that was recently decided. Unfortunately, the appellate court made new caselaw two weeks before the ruling on the client’s appeal, a rarity, which resulted in the denial of the writ. The trial court denied the motion to mitigate sentence and the client’s motion to withdraw plea.

The client once again hired Mr. Forman to handle the appeal of the denial of the motion to withdraw plea.  However, Mr. Forman had a clever idea.  He knew that the recent caselaw which was made weeks prior to the filing of his writ of prohibition was pending before the Florida Supreme Court. He also knew that if the Florida Supreme Court reversed that decision, then it would make his appeal more likely to succeed.

Mr. Forman filed his appeal, arguing that the motion to withdraw plea should have been granted. Importantly, he also argued that if the Florida Supreme Court reversed the decision of the new case law, then the client’s case should also be reversed and sent back to a new judge based upon the bias. This was the fallback argument that was presented even though the appellate court already denied the appeal on this issue.

Months passed until finally the Florida Supreme Court reversed the new case law, which opened the door for success in this appeal. After a few more months, the appellate court reversed the denial of the client’s motion for disqualification! The appellate court found that the judge did have a policy of sentencing indigent defendants to harsher sentences. This decision meant that the client will have a new judge to hear his motion to withdraw plea and motion to mitigate!  The client and his family were thrilled, especially since the prosecutor, after congratulating Mr. Forman, indicated that the case could be resolved.  This is another reason why Mr. Forman is one of the most respected criminal appellate lawyers in Florida.

Petition for Belated Appeal Granted!

posted 2016 | B.O. v. State (Volusia County)

Client was arrested and charged with aggravated battery.  Client was convicted at trial and sentenced to prison. Although the client and his family requested that his defense attorney file an appeal on his behalf, defense counsel failed to do so.  Client was incarcerated in prison without any appeal filed on his behalf.

Client’s family contacted Mr. Forman, who knew exactly what needed to be done in order to correct the mistake.  Mr. Forman filed a petition in the appellate court and the court granted the client the right to file an appeal! Client now has an appeal pending and can challenge his judgment and sentence.

Denial of 3.850 without hearing reversed on appeal!

posted 2016 | PM v. State (Sarasota County)

Client was arrested for his third DUI and went to trial with another criminal defense lawyer.  He was convicted, sentenced to jail and had his license suspended for life.  Client filed an appeal with another lawyer, which was denied. Client then hired another well-known local criminal defense lawyer to file a motion for post-conviction relief under rule 3.850.  The motion contained four grounds, but the trial court denied the motion without an evidentiary hearing.

Client decided to hire Mr. Forman to appeal the denial of his 3.850 motion.  After reviewing the motion, Mr. Forman believed that the trial court improperly denied the motion without a hearing.  The client also should have been allowed to amend the poorly written motion.   Mr. Forman handled the appeal and as expected, the appellate court reversed the denial of the client’s motion.  Client will now be able to proceed on his motion!  Client was very pleased at the result.

 

25 year mandatory prison sentence and conviction vacated after 3.850 hearing!

posted 2016 | State v. TB (Lee County)

This is a great example of how the lawyer you choose can make the difference! The client was charged in Lee county with trafficking in oxycodone pills and conspiracy to traffic, both offenses carrying a 25 year minimum mandatory sentence.  The client was represented by another attorney and was found guilty of both charges.  Unfortunately, he was sentenced to a mandatory 25 years in prison. Mr. Forman was hired to handle the appeal, but unfortunately the conviction and sentence were affirmed.

However, when preparing every appeal, Mr. Forman always anticipates the next move just in case the appeal is denied.  Here, he knew that there were several issues that could be raised in a motion for post conviction relief.  Mr. Forman was hired to handle the 3.850 motion and raised the issues that he found while drafting the initial direct appeal. Two of the issues that he discovered involved erroneous jury instructions that were given to the jury regarding the conspiracy offense and the lawful prescription defense.  Neither the judge, the prosecutor, nor former defense counsel noticed these errors. They were only noticed by Mr. Forman.

An evidentiary hearing was scheduled before the same judge who handled the trial. Two days before the hearing, the prosecutor asked if the client would take a 10 year sentence reduction.  The client refused to accept the deal and told Mr. Forman that he knew that Mr. Forman would win the hearing, certainly a big gamble.  At the evidentiary hearing, the trial court heard the testimony of 3 lawyers, as well as the defendant and his mother. The same judge who presided over the trial granted the motion for post conviction relief and ordered that the client be given a new trial for those charges.  His two 25 year minimum mandatory sentences were vacated!  Client and his family were thrilled with the outcome.

15 year prison sentence reduced to 7 years!

posted 2016 | State v. J.S.

This is a prime example of how a smart and experienced attorney can change the game. Client was arrested and charged with second degree grand theft, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.  Client entered an open plea with a local attorney and was sentenced to 6 years in prison. The client was granted a week furlough and was told that if he failed to appear in court, he would automatically be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The client failed to appear for court and moved out of state for 6 years. The client was arrested in another state as a result of a traffic stop, which revealed an active Florida warrant. When he was brought back to Florida, the judge remanded the client into custody to serve his 15 year sentence. The judge refused to impose a new sentence, but indicated that he was merely remanding the client.

Client hired Mr. Forman to see what could be done.  Unfortunately, due to the lapse of 6 years, all of the deadlines and timelines expired.  This prevented the client from appealing his sentence or filing a motion for post conviction relief under rule 3.850.  However, Mr. Forman had an idea that was meant to re-start the clock for the expired deadline in the case.

As an experienced appellate lawyer, Mr. Forman knew that the court had to find that a client willfully failed to appear in court before the maximum sentence could be imposed. Mr. Forman filed a motion and was granted a hearing.  Although the client was sure to lose the motion, Mr. Forman wanted to re-start the clock.

Knowing that the motion was most likely going to be unsuccessful, Mr. Forman fought hard for the client and was able to convince the State to reduce the 15 year prison sentence to a 7 year sentence followed by 3 years of probation!  The State agreed to do this even though they had all of the leverage. Mr. Forman was able to convince them to negotiate because they believed that the case would be re-opened on appeal. Client is currently serving his reduced sentence and is grateful for the help!

State drops gun charge after 3.850 motion granted! (update)

posted 2016 | State v. E.S.

As explained in a previous post, Mr. Forman was able to win a new trial for a gun charge after an evidentiary on the client’s motion for post conviction relief. Instead of appealing or going forward with a new trial, the state dropped the charge!  Client is extremely pleased and of course, grateful for Mr. Forman’s efforts.

55 Appellate Case Results


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