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Newly-Discovered Evidence Attorney

Post-Conviction Relief Based on Newly Discovered Evidence

Lisabeth J. Fryer is a Florida criminal defense attorney who focuses extensively on obtaining post-conviction relief for convicted defendants in state and federal court when newly discovered evidence justifies giving them a new trial so this important evidence can properly be considered by a judge or jury. Call Lisabeth J. Fryer, P.A. for a free consultation on your case with a dedicated criminal defense attorney who has the experience and expertise needed to evaluate and argue motions based on newly discovered evidence.

What counts as newly discovered evidence?

Motions for post-conviction relief, also known as collateral appeals, are based on different grounds than a direct appeal, which is typically filed shortly after a conviction if grounds for appeal are available. A direct appeal is based on errors that occurred at trial, such as if the judge admitted evidence that should have been excluded or gave the wrong set of instructions to the jury. These types of errors can be heard on appeal if they were properly objected to at trial so the issues were properly preserved for appeal.

Sometimes, however, there was no objection at trial, and the grounds for appeal do not become known until after the trial is over and the time for filing a direct appeal has expired. Such is often the case with newly discovered evidence. Newly discovered evidence refers to evidence which was not known to the defense during the trial and could not have been discovered with reasonable diligence. Examples of such newly discovered evidence include:

  • A witness who testified against the defendant at trial later recants that testimony
  • A witness comes forward after the trial whom the defense did not previously know about
  • A witness whom the defense had been unable to locate is found
  • New scientific evidence is discovered
  • New research debunks junk science relied on by the prosecution at trial

How are motions based on newly discovered evidence made?

Rule 3.850 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure sets out the requirements for a motion to vacate, set aside or correct a sentence. When seeking relief from judgment or release from custody, Rule 3.850 governs the form and content of the motion, affidavits that must be provided, and other procedures necessary for a successful motion. Similarly, Rule 3.851 delineates the procedures required for collateral relief after a death sentence has been imposed and affirmed on direct appeal.

For newly discovered evidence concerning a federal criminal law conviction, Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure describes the requirements for a motion for a new trial after a verdict or finding of guilty. In most cases, defendants only have 14 days after the verdict or finding to file a motion for post-conviction relief, but in the case of newly discovered evidence, defendants have up to three years to file a motion for a new trial. If the original case was tried to a jury, the court can vacate the judgment and grant a new trial in the interest of justice. If the case was tried without a jury, the court can take additional testimony and enter a new judgment.

In either Florida state or federal court, it is important to show that the newly discovered evidence is significant and is like to result in an acquittal at a new trial or is otherwise capable of getting the jury to reach a different verdict. Florida criminal defense attorney Lisabeth Fryer knows how to prepare and argue a logical, forceful motion to ensure convicted defendants have access to justice when newly discovered evidence surfaces in their case.

Call Lisabeth Fryer for Help with Newly Discovered Evidence in Your Florida Criminal Law Case

For a free consultation on the likelihood of success in filing a motion based on newly discovered evidence in a Florida state or federal criminal case, call criminal defense attorney Lisabeth J. Fryer at 407-960-2671.

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