The Attorney General is the chief legal officer for the State of Florida and represents and defends the prosecution in all criminal appeals in state and federal courts. The most complex of these criminal appeals is the capital murder case where defendants have committed first degree murder and the death sentence has been imposed. A separate, statewide Capital Appeals Bureau exists to handle these special cases. All capital murder cases are appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. On average per year, Florida houses more than 370 inmates on Death Row.
In all other cases, the Attorney General handles all the felony appeals from basic sentencing guidelines cases to all, other, non-capital murder cases in the District Courts of Appeal and the habeas corpus litigation in the federal trial and appellate courts. There are over 10,000 of these appeals litigated each year.
Because the Attorney General represents the State in these appeals, the Attorney General also has a very important responsibility of ensuring that all victims of crime are fully informed of all litigation that occurs in a criminal case. Both the capital and criminal assistants in this Division are responsible for keeping in contact with victims and their families regarding the progress of a criminal case.
The Criminal Division has approximately 130 attorneys located in six offices statewide, nearest the state’s appellate courts. Each office is specifically assigned to work with the State Attorneys who are located near these offices.
For further information concerning the Criminal Division and the Captial Appeals Bureau, please call (850) 414-3300 in Tallahassee, Florida, or write or email questions to the Attorney General's main mail address or email site.