2007 Florida Statutes
Terms and conditions of appeals and collateral review in criminal cases.
924.051 Terms and conditions of appeals and collateral review in criminal cases.--
(1) As used in this section:
(a) "Prejudicial error" means an error in the trial court that harmfully affected the judgment or sentence.
(b) "Preserved" means that an issue, legal argument, or objection to evidence was timely raised before, and ruled on by, the trial court, and that the issue, legal argument, or objection to evidence was sufficiently precise that it fairly apprised the trial court of the relief sought and the grounds therefor.
(2) The right to direct appeal and the provisions for collateral review created in this chapter may only be implemented in strict accordance with the terms and conditions of this section.
(3) An appeal may not be taken from a judgment or order of a trial court unless a prejudicial error is alleged and is properly preserved or, if not properly preserved, would constitute fundamental error. A judgment or sentence may be reversed on appeal only when an appellate court determines after a review of the complete record that prejudicial error occurred and was properly preserved in the trial court or, if not properly preserved, would constitute fundamental error.
(4) If a defendant pleads nolo contendere without expressly reserving the right to appeal a legally dispositive issue, or if a defendant pleads guilty without expressly reserving the right to appeal a legally dispositive issue, the defendant may not appeal the judgment or sentence.
(5) Collateral relief is not available on grounds that were or could have been raised at trial and, if properly preserved, on direct appeal of the conviction and sentence.
(6) In a noncapital case, a petition or motion for collateral or other postconviction relief may not be considered if it is filed more than 2 years after the judgment and sentence became final, unless the petition or motion alleges that:
(a) The facts upon which the claim is predicated were unknown to the petitioner or his or her attorney and could not have been ascertained by the exercise of due diligence;
(b) The fundamental constitutional right asserted was not established within the period provided for in this subsection and has been held to apply retroactively; or
(c) The sentence imposed was illegal because it either exceeded the maximum or fell below the minimum authorized by statute for the criminal offense at issue. Either the state or the defendant may petition the trial court to vacate an illegal sentence at any time.
(7) In a direct appeal or a collateral proceeding, the party challenging the judgment or order of the trial court has the burden of demonstrating that a prejudicial error occurred in the trial court. A conviction or sentence may not be reversed absent an express finding that a prejudicial error occurred in the trial court.
(8) It is the intent of the Legislature that all terms and conditions of direct appeal and collateral review be strictly enforced, including the application of procedural bars, to ensure that all claims of error are raised and resolved at the first opportunity. It is also the Legislature's intent that all procedural bars to direct appeal and collateral review be fully enforced by the courts of this state.
(9) Funds, resources, or employees of this state or its political subdivisions may not be used, directly or indirectly, in appellate or collateral proceedings unless the use is constitutionally or statutorily mandated.
History.--s. 4, ch. 96-248; s. 1842, ch. 97-102; s. 11, ch. 97-313; s. 19, ch. 2000-3.