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What Is Post-Conviction Relief?

Kathleen M. Kirchner April 25, 2023

A criminal defense attorney plays multiple roles in providing defense to an individual facing charges, including before, during and after trial. Criminal defense attorneys are particularly useful in pursuing what’s known as post-conviction relief.

A Defense Attorney’s Role

After a criminal conviction, post-conviction relief often means urging the court to correct mistakes made during the initial trial. The most common form of post-conviction relief used by those recently convicted of a crime involves filing an appeal. An appeal doesn’t mean the person will receive a new trial, but rather asking the appropriate appellate court to review the previous judgment. In some situations, a successful appeal could reverse prior rulings or trigger a new trial.

When there was a conflict of interest that compromised the fairness of the trial or a misinterpretation of the law, an appeal could be a viable option. An appeal may also be necessary if the defendant received inadequate counsel.

An appeal, however, is not an option simply because someone is upset about losing their court case. They need specific grounds to request an appeal and evidence to argue their perspective should they secure a hearing in the appellate courts.

Securing Post-Conviction Relief Can Be a Challenge

Although all criminal defendants have access to the court system and can pursue an appeal on their own, many would benefit from the guidance of a legal professional who can evaluate the process, whether there are actual grounds for an appeal and other intricate issues.

If you think that poor representation or a mistake directly contributed to your conviction, it may be time to reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney today.