United States v. Horta-Alvarez, Case No. 16-16757 (11th Cir. Oct. 19, 2017)
IMPROPER JURY INSTRUCTION RESULTS IN OVERTURNED FEDERAL CONVICTION AND SENTENCE
In this appeal, Richard Della Fera successfully challenged his client’s sentence in federal court. The client, who had been convicted of drug offenses, received a longer sentence due to an erroneous finding of fact by the sentencing judge.
At sentencing, the judge claimed that the client was not only involved in the sale of powder cocaine but crack cocaine as well. This resulted in the judge refusing to impose the least sentence possible under the law. However, the client’s criminal appeals attorney, Richard Della Fera, argued that there was nothing in the record to support such a finding and that the sentence should be vacated.
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Della Fera’s arguments and vacated the sentence. The court found that the sentencing judge had indeed relied on a clearly erroneous fact and that this error was not harmless. As a result, the client received a reduced sentence upon remand.
This case serves as an important reminder of the importance of having a skilled appellate lawyer on your side when facing a criminal sentence. Della Fera’s ability to identify the erroneous finding of fact and argue its impact on the sentence was crucial in achieving a favorable outcome for his client. His knowledge of the law and ability to present a compelling case were instrumental in having the sentence vacated and the client receiving a reduced sentence.
If you or someone you know received a harsh and unfair sentence, it is crucial to have an experienced appellate lawyer on your side. The stakes are high, and a longer sentence than necessary can have a devastating impact on your life. With the right legal representation, however, it may be possible to have the sentence vacated or reduced. Don’t hesitate to contact appellate lawyer Richard Della Fera to discuss your options.