The Innocence Project of Florida often calls on the expert services of criminal defense attorneys when they are attempting to overturn a wrongful conviction or plan sentence appeals. In April 2001 Derrick Williams was released from prison after serving a sentence on nineteen years after an eyewitness pointed him out in a lineup. Williams was conclusively cleared of all charges after DNA evidence excluded him from the crime.
Senator Joe Negron of Palm City, Florida called for an urgent overhaul of the eyewitness identification process in the State of Florida as well as the sentence appeals process. Prosecutors rely heavily on the information given to them by the police in any criminal case, but if that evidence has been compromised in some way, it could be that more innocent people face prison time. Getting through the process of sentence appeals is difficult, time consuming and often unsuccessful unless you use an experienced attorney.
If you are facing any criminal charges, or have been arrested on a criminal charge, it is your right to be represented by a criminal defense attorney who as an officer of court is mandated to act in your best interests. Remaining silent and asking to contact a lawyer is not proof of guilt, but proof that you are thinking clearly and responsibly in response to the charges against you.
Evidence presented against you in a criminal case, misdemeanor or federal can be scrutinized by your criminal lawyer in preparation for your court date. On your own, you are unlikely to find the legal discrepancies and loopholes that a federal attorney is trained to look for. Legal expertise is always your best defense when facing a criminal charge.
Even a misdemeanor crime can leave you with a criminal record. A record does not disappear just because you plead guilty. There is no addendum to a criminal record that informs people that you made a mistake. Having a criminal defense attorney is the best way of ensuring that you receive all the rights you are entitled to under the law even if you have been convicted of crimes and wish to use the sentence appeals process to your benefit.