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Is post-conviction relief an option for you?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Post-Conviction Relief |

Receiving a conviction for a criminal charge can feel like a period at the end of a sentence. It should feel like a semicolon, because this is not the end of the criminal proceedings available to you. While a criminal conviction might feel like a permanent situation to you right now, this is not the end of the road for you when it comes to your legal rights and options.

Depending on your situation, you might have a few options; however, if you have evidence to illustrate that the proceedings were unfair, you could seek post-conviction relief, or PCR.

Understanding post-conviction relief

In simple terms, a post-conviction relief proceeding allows those convicted of a criminal charge to challenge their conviction or sentence by raising claims that their trial or plea deal were unfair due to errors or violations of rights. When seeking a PCR, a petition for post-conviction relief must be filed. Often, this involves a motion for a new trial or a motion to vacate a judgment.

Filing for a PCR can be intimidating, and at Robert L. Sepp, Attorney at Law, our law firm understands that it is a complex matter to navigate following a criminal conviction. Thus, our legal team is dedicated to helping our clients fully understand the scope of their matter and the best options available to them.

A petitioner for a PCR could decide to file this petition for a variety of reasons. Often, this filing occurs when there is a belief that the trial itself or their plea deal was unfair, such as ineffective counsel. However, they could assert that the trial court made errors, that the government violated their constitutional rights. Although rare, the filing could occur following a change in the law and a reliance on the escape clause for relief of their conviction.

No matter the reason for seeking PCR, a petitioner has a two-year period to file the petition, starting at either the completion of their direct appeal or the date of their sentencing judgment. Thus, you must be attentive of this window of time.

If you are considering post-conviction relief, it is important to understand the process, claims that can be asserted and what steps are required of you. A legal professional can help you understand your rights when it comes to PCR, helping you make a timely and informed decision.