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Legal Affairs and Appeals

The Legal Affairs and Appeals Section handles post-conviction motions and state appeals.   This section also serves as a resource to the other sections and units in the office by offering guidance on cases to reduce further unnecessary legal proceedings.

When a defendant is convicted through a trial, plea or a sentence, he has the right to file an appeal.  The Legal Affairs and Appeals Section works to uphold the guilty verdicts when a defendant appeals the case.

If the appeal is a misdemeanor case, the appeal is handled in-house.  If the appeal is a felony case, Legal Affairs coordinates with the Attorney General’s Office.  The Attorney General’s Office takes the lead on upholding the decision in the felony cases.

The Legal Affairs and Appeals Section handles criminal and civil matters.

Criminal matters include reviewing post-conviction DNA testing.  If a defendant claims he has been wrongly convicted of a crime, Legal Affairs works with the defendant’s attorney to review all evidence including DNA to ensure justice is done.

Civil matters include reviewing Baker Act proceedings.  A Baker Act proceeding is an involuntary mental health examination which can be followed by involuntary placement into a hospital or crisis center for up to 72 hours.

Another civil component to Legal Affairs is bond validations.  When a city government wants to issue a revenue bond that will obligate a community to pay off a debt over the course of several years, Legal Affairs reviews the bond validation and attends government meetings on the issue to review the proceedings and to ensure there is a public purpose for this bond.

Another Legal Affairs component is medical intervention.  For example, if doctors recommend that a blood transfusion is necessary to save a child’s life but the child’s parents object for faith based reasons, Legal Affairs advocates on the child’s behalf for the medical procedure.

The Legal Affairs and Appeals Section’s work does not end upon conviction.  It is proactive in protecting the community by being efficient and seeking justice.