If you went to trial to defend yourself against criminal allegations, you likely hoped to avoid a conviction. However, not everyone is lucky to achieve this. It is common for people to experience anger or despair after being found guilty by a jury, but it’s certainly not the end of the road.
You still can pursue post-conviction relief, which allows you the option to appeal.
What is post-conviction relief?
An individual who believes that there was a miscarriage of justice during their trial can ask the appellate court to review their case. Post-conviction relief can result in a reversal of a lower court’s ruling or a decision to grant someone a new trial. Not every criminal defendant, however, will have grounds for an appeal in their case, but it is still worth evaluating.
Often, there needs to the clear evidence that the lower court deviated from best practices or evidence that there may have been a mistake made in the interpretation of the law. For example, maybe a judge deviated from standard court rules despite your attorney’s objection.
Other times, post-conviction relief focuses on negligent legal representation at trial. If your attorney made a major mistake or failed to inform you about a conflict of interest that eventually compromised the quality of representation you received, you may have grounds to request post-conviction relief.
How an attorney can help
If, for instance, the lawyer who represented you in your initial case failed in some significant way, you may question whether you would benefit from working with a lawyer again. However, the legal system is incredibly complex. When it comes to an appeal, the average person will struggle to properly assert themselves without the support of an attorney.
Partnering with someone familiar with not only criminal defense but also post-conviction relief can help those hoping for fairness.