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The difference between an appeal and post-conviction relief

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2024 | Post-Conviction Relief |

The relief you can seek post-conviction can be confusing. And if you don’t properly navigate the process, you might be denied the relief that you deserve. This week, we want to briefly look at the difference between a direct appeal of a conviction and a motion for post-conviction relief.

The basics of a direct appeal

After being convicted, you can appeal your case. When you do so, the Court of Appeals will scrutinize the record made at the lower court level to determine if it was proper or if the court abused its discretion in some way.

Therefore, any pretrial motions that were filed, the transcript from the trial, and jury instructions will all be assessed to determine if your conviction needs to be reversed. If you spotted an issue with your case and could’ve raised it on appeal but didn’t, then you won’t be able to address that issue later on.

The basics of post-conviction relief

Post-conviction relief, on the other hand, is dealt with at the trial court level. Here, you petition the court for some sort of relief, like a new trail, based on violations of your Constitutional rights. Unlike an appeal, though, in a post-conviction relief proceeding you can bring in new evidence that wasn’t available and thus wasn’t presented at your trial. In other words, a post-conviction relief hearing gives you another opportunity to fight for your freedom.

Do you think you qualify for post-conviction relief?

If you think that something unfair in your case led to your conviction, then it’s worth discussing the matter with someone who may be able to help you advocate for post-conviction relief. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that there’s nothing you can do. Instead, be proactive in advocating for yourself and your future.