Case Conclusion Date: April 30, 2010
Practice Area: Criminal Defense
Outcome: 15 Year Sentence and Conviction Reversed on Appeal
Description: Mr. Farias was charged with one (1) count of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation, a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of thirty (3) yeaars in the Department of Corrections. He was represented at trial by another lawyer; he was convicted and sentenced to fifteen (15) years in prison. He retained JJK/LLC to represent him on direct appeal, and on march 31, 2010, his conviction was reversed and his case remanded to the Circuit Court for a new trial. The appeal was difficult in that there was really only one (1) serious trial error committed by the trial judge, which involved allowing the government to introduce into evidence a single irrelevant photograph, which Kirschner argued tainted the entire trial and therefore required the case to be reversed. Admitting photographs is considered to be "within the broad discretion" of the trial court, and Kirschner had to persuade the three (3) judge appellate panel in Palm Beach county that the trial judge "abused" that discretion. (This is the highest standard to overcome in criminal Appeal cases. Despite the many procedural and substantive roadblocks to prevailing in such situations, Kirschner was able to persuade the three (3) judge panel that the photograph indeed was profoundly prejudicial, and required reversal for new trial.