At the law firm of David J. Celuch, we often advise clients who have been through the criminal justice system and did not receive fair treatment. You may be able to file a petition for post-conviction relief even if you have already gone through the appellate court and lost your appeal.

According to the Oregon Department of Justice, rather than the appellate brief you filed when you appealed the judgment from your original trial, you will file a PCR petition. This document explains what relief you are seeking, and the claims you are making regarding the errors that occurred. The most common reason people file PCR petitions is a failure of their defense attorney to adequately represent them, whether during the original trial or the appeals process.

During an appeal, a panel of judges reviews the appellate brief. While your attorney may have presented an oral argument, you were not able to attend the closed meeting. On the other hand, in a PCR proceeding, not only are you able to attend and address the judge as the petitioner, the victim of the alleged offense is also allowed to attend, and so is any member of the public. However, you may also attend via phone or video conference. If a victim wishes to give a statement, this is often written and presented in advance of the proceedings.

The judge may deny the relief, grant a new trial, modify your previously ordered sentence, or determine another form of relief based on his or her discretion. If you disagree with the outcome, you have the option to appeal the PCR ruling. More information on this topic is available on our webpage.