After a defendant has been sentenced to prison, jail or felony probation, the defendant does not have to give up and just accept that they will spend the next several years in the criminal justice system. The legal system in the United States accepts the fact that sometimes there are judges and juries who make mistakes and the result is where innocent people end up involved in the criminal justice system. Enter post-conviction relief. Post-conviction relief is how our judicial system provides a way for a defendant to challenge an unfair or unjust conviction and/or sentencing. Speak to a criminal defense attorney about your individual situation at (317) 743-0771.
Post-Conviction Relief Representation
Post-conviction representation includes having the best attorney for your case to represent you after you have already been convicted. A PCR lawyer may be able to:
- Successfully challenge the judge or jury’s guilty verdict
- Challenge an unfair sentence
- Ask the president for an early release
There are a number of methods that your post-conviction lawyer can successfully use for your release, or reduce your criminal sentence.
How to Increase Chances of Post-Conviction Relief
There are a number of mitigating factors that increase the probability of PCR. Some of the most common mitigating factors that we notice aid in the success of a post-conviction relief request. Those factors include the following.
A Clean and Sober Defendant
If the client is not an addict or alcoholic, that fact alone is a favorable since so many defendants suffer from chemical dependency. Unfortunately, there is a large number of criminal offenses that are related to drug addiction or alcoholism of some sort. When a defendant has had one or more years in recovery, this works in their favor because the client is showing positive steps to show a track record of success that it is reasonable to believe recovery will continue.
The Defendant Has Served the Sentence and Is Now Out of Custody
A defendant who is currently out of custody has twice the chance of acquittal or dismissal of the charges in a PCR and has a better chance of being seen as a human being by the judge and prosecutor in addition demonstrating that there is a far greater chance of remaining out of custody in the future. This is a defendant that is far more likely to be believed as a witness and to be successful in obtaining a successful post-conviction relief petition.
No Outstanding or Pending Arrest Warrants
If the defendant has outstanding bench warrants or arrest warrants, they must be cleared before the client’s liberty can be obtained during the post-conviction case. Outstanding warrants for the defendants arrest also present the client in a terrible light to the judge and prosecutor when seeking a favorable exercise of discretion. To prevent this impediment from occurring, the following must occur:
- The defendant’s surrender must be negotiated on the outstanding warrants
- The defendant must be defended on the underlying criminal case, as well as the probation or parole violation matter
- The defendant must serve any new sentence received before being released
How to Win Post Conviction Relief
Though winning a PCR may be difficult, it is not impossible. There are certain actions that every successful post-conviction filer takes. Here are the keys to a successful post-conviction relief petition.
Successful Post-Conviction Relief Keys to Success
Successful filers understand that there are strict time limits to file legal papers. So it is extremely important to have all of the paperwork done properly and in order and should be filed roughly within the 9 month period when their judgments and sentences become final.
Successful post-conviction relief petitions raise all possible issues in the first motion and they speak in the language of state law but successful petitions also raise corresponding federal constitutional claims in those same papers along with all their state law claims.
Post-Conviction Relief Can Right Wrongs
Post-Conviction Relief (PCR) is a legal remedy that is used to fix problems in criminal cases. The most common claims allege the Ineffective Assistance of Counsel (IAOC) claim. IAOC is almost the same as legal malpractice. An Ineffective Assistance of Counsel claim asserts that the lawyer mishandled a case. Legal malpractice and IAOC are similar. However, in instances of true legal malpractice cases, courts award you compensation, i.e. money for your lost past and future income, pain, suffering, disfigurement. Post-Conviction Relief under the IAOC assertion is different because no compensation is ever awarded. A successful PCR petition puts you back in the same position you were in before the errors of in your defense occurred. When you are ready to file for a PCR for your case, call a top rated post-conviction relief attorney at (317) 743-0771 or email [email protected].