Experienced attorneys understand that you deserve a second chance in a trial that ended unfairly. The justice system works to amend these criminal defense cases and lead you on the path to a clean record.
After a court charges you with a criminal offense, a court may have appointed an attorney for you, or you hired an inexperienced lawyer. Unfortunately, you believe your defense did not accurately represent you, and mistakes made during your trial cost you your freedom. South Carolina provides a re-trial opportunity for those convicted of a crime to retry the case in court under a new, capable attorney.
Post-conviction relief in South Carolina
Perhaps a scenario of wrong place/wrong time caused your conviction of a serious crime in a court. Though you may be innocent, mistakes made by the court caused your sentencing.
To have a chance at a just trial, you must take certain action by filing for post-conviction relief. Generally, a post-conviction relief proceeding includes steps as follows.
- Evidence: If you have determined that you did not receive a fair trial, you must prove that:
- Your original attorney was incompetent in handling your case; or
- Other errors prove that your trial was unfair
- Representation: Next, you hire a new, experienced attorney committed to your case. The Attorney General’s Office of South Carolina represents the state.
- Hearing: The court holds a hearing at the location of the first trial.
- Decision: A judge either denies or grants your petition.
Outcomes and importance of PCR proceedings
If your claims prove to be true regarding your proceedings, the judge may:
- Order a new trial
- Modify the sentence
- Order other relief
In the United States, it is estimated that 2.3 to 5 percent of those incarcerated would prove to be innocent. Some men and women have been locked up for over 30 years. Many cases involved bad defense appointed by the court, unethical legal proceedings or discrimination—all which should never enter the courtroom.
Be sure you are accurately represented in court to avoid trial errors and a second conviction.