When a defendant is wrongfully convicted due to an error made by the court, the prosecutor, or even their own lawyer, they have the ability to present further evidence or raise other issues following a conviction. However, to fully prove that there was an error made, they will need to enlist the services of a skilled attorney.
If you have reason to believe you were convicted or sentenced erroneously, a Mesa post-conviction relief lawyer could file a petition to raise a colorable claim that the outcome of your case would have been different if handled correctly. Speak with one of the legal professionals at the Grand Canyon Law Group today to schedule a consultation concerning your case.
Arizona Criminal Procedure Rule 32, which applies to jury verdicts, and Rule 33, which refers to plea agreements, list examples of colorable claims that can be included in a petition to be heard by the court. Some examples include:
An attorney familiar with post-conviction relief could sit down with you to determine if you have a colorable claim in the local area.
A precise procedure exists when it comes time to ask the court to review cases in which defendants are found guilty. A Notice requesting Post-Conviction Relief must be filed first, and then a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief.
If your colorable claim is based on violations of either the Arizona or United States Constitution, you must file your Notice Requesting Post Conviction Relief within 90 days after your sentencing or 30 days after the appellate court rejects a direct appeal. Constitutional violations include ineffective assistance of counsel. For instance, if trial counsel ignored evidence that would benefit a defendant, failed to show up for court hearings, or did not keep a defendant informed of their options.
For all other colorable claims, the notice should be filed within a reasonable time after discovering a claim may exist. If you do not file your notice before the time limit, but it was not your fault, the court may accept your notice if you have a good reason for the late filing.
The notice tells the court who you are, what your sentence was, and outlines under either Rule 32 or 33 what your colorable claim or claims are.
Once an attorney files a Notice for Post-Conviction Relief, the Petition for Post-Conviction Relief is next and must be filed within 60 days of the Notice. The petition provides facts, evidence, legal precedence, and any other documents that support your colorable claims. If the court decides there are no colorable claims, the petition will be dismissed, but if colorable claims are viable, an Evidentiary Hearing may be scheduled. The attorney handling your post-conviction relief will attempt to prove that your conviction or sentence was in error. The standard for proving error is by the preponderance of the evidence, which differs from the criminal trial court, where the prosecutor must prove guilt to a higher standard: beyond a reasonable doubt. For a more in-depth explanation regarding this process, reach out to the knowledgeable attorneys at the Grand Canyon Law Group today.
Arizona laws spell out the circumstances that could allow you to right a wrong committed when you were sentenced or convicted of a crime. Your conviction may be unconstitutional, or you may have new evidence exonerating you.
You will need help presenting your petition to the court. Our Mesa post-conviction relief lawyers at the Grand Canyon Law Group are waiting to hear from you to discuss your case. Our legal team is standing by for your call to schedule your free initial consultation.