After being convicted of a criminal offense in state court, post-conviction relief can help you reverse or modify the results of your conviction or win your freedom from unlawful incarceration. Post-conviction relief requires significant specialized knowledge and experience in order to be successful, and it can be incredibly difficult for defendants to achieve on their own.
If you need someone to re-examine your case and change your sentence, an experienced Atlanta post-conviction relief lawyer could help you. Dedicated criminal defense attorneys have the years of experience needed to enforce your rights.
Post-conviction relief encompasses different methods for changing a criminal conviction and sentence. The right method depends on the facts of the case. Filing for the wrong type will result in a denial of the request, so it is important to pick the right tool for the job. Post-conviction relief motions can be an uphill battle for defendants, so it could be beneficial to have local legal counsel by their side.
A writ of habeas corpus is a motion to contest the constitutionality of a person’s incarceration. This is a civil proceeding brought against the sheriff or warden where the defendant is currently incarcerated. The defendant and their attorney introduce evidence and legal arguments to prove that the incarceration is unlawful. These motions are typically filed after other legal options have been exhausted, but can be successful in the right situation.
The most frequently used form of post-conviction relief is an appeal. After a conviction, the defendant has the right to file an appeal where they can allege that there were errors at the trial court level. These mistakes could have been committed by the judge, the prosecutor, or the defendant’s own lawyer. Improper evidence, improper jury selection, and illegal sentencing are trial errors that could lead to a successful appeal.
Appeals have complicated rules and a high standard of proof. They require a great deal of legal research as well as an understanding of the defendant’s case.
After a court sentences a defendant to a certain punishment, the court still has jurisdiction to change that sentence, terminate it, or issue a new one. The reasons a court may grant a modification depend greatly on the circumstances but may include mistakes during the sentencing, the defendant’s extenuating health circumstances, new evidence, and more. Many modifications occur when a defendant is on probation and could result in an early end to probation supervision.
A qualified attorney in the area could help a defendant understand what options are available for pursuing a sentence modification.
A motion for a new trial is not commonly granted but may occur if new evidence is discovered that could exonerate the defendant. Whether newly discovered evidence meets the requirements for a new trial is highly fact-dependent and ultimately up to the trial judge.
Clemency through a pardon or a restoration of civil rights can help a defendant restore their normal lives following a conviction. A pardon is a forgiveness of a felony crime that will also renew civil rights. A restoration of civil rights will not forgive the crime, but will permit a person to again serve on a jury, vote, and run for public office.
Each post-conviction relief method is designed to help you move forward from your past crimes and get on with your life. An experienced Atlanta post-conviction relief lawyer is here to help and could provide valuable advice and support as you go through this process. Contact us today and learn more.