Motion to Overturn (Vacate) a Conviction

meeting with an orlando trial attorneyIf you have a conviction that you feel is unjust, you might consider filing a motion to overturn (vacate) a conviction to seek relief. There are numerous reasons to pursue this type of post-conviction method in Florida, but there are requirements to meet in order to be successful. Because these types of matters can take a long time to process, it’s critical you have an experienced defense attorney with a solid record in appeals cases. 

Why You Should Overturn Your Conviction

Vacating a conviction is a form of post-conviction relief. Once convicted by a court of a charged crime, an individual can file this motion for a number of reasons. Scenarios that are favorable for overturning your conviction include:

  • Filing your motion within two years of taking the plea
  • Not having an attorney when you pled
  • Didn’t waive your rights to a lawyer when you pled
  • Use of inadmissible evidence
  • Law enforcement and/or prosecution misconduct
  • Exclusion of allowable evidence
  • Violation of your state and/or federal constitutional rights
  • Discovering new evidence that has an impact on your sentencing

Because this process can take up to a few years to get through, it’s critical you understand the long term expectations and possible results of your motion. Many attorneys advise that you do not attempt to navigate this complicated appeals process on your own since Florida law is specific and leaves no room for error. 

Vacating Your Conviction After Serving Time

While it may sound strange to want a conviction overturned if you’ve already served out the sentence, there are plenty of good reasons to take this step. For some defendants, it’s their only crime and by vacating it, their record is clean again. The long-term benefits for individuals taking this route are:

  • Have a clean background for employment
  • Return their right to obtaining government assistance
  • Restore the ability to vote
  • Reinstate your driving privileges

These are just a few of the legal benefits involved with vacating, but there are also emotional rewards as well. For many, restoring their reputation within their families and communities is an invaluable step in rebuilding their lives after conviction. 

The Pros and Cons of Vacating a Conviction

It’s vital to understand that you may have positive or negative impacts as a result of your filing. When you attempt to vacate your crime, you start back at the point before you were convicted, so it’s like starting from square one. This means if your motion fails, you may end up with a sentence that’s more severe than the first one, have a new trial ordered, or have it removed completely. 

The best outcome is that you will not receive a conviction the second time around, and your record will no longer have a blemish. After winning your motion, you may want to consider having your record expunged so you can get other consequences removed that stemmed from your original case.  

Hire Experienced Orlando Appeals Attorneys

Filing a post-conviction motion like vacating demands an experienced legal team that will protect your rights and negotiates effectively with the court to get the second chance you deserve. Attempting to navigate this process on your own is possible, but ill-advised as there are many technicalities that can result in a dismissal. Hiring an experienced appeals attorney at The Umansky Law Firm can help ensure your motion to overturn your conviction meets the stringent legal requirements demanded by the state of Florida in order to win.

As members of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, we put our more than 100 years of combined experience to work for you by securing the best possible outcome for your situation. We keep you informed at all times of what is happening in your case and explain the impacts thoroughly. Contact us today at (407) 228-3838 to receive a free case evaluation and to learn more about how a motion to vacate your conviction could give you another chance in life without a record.