David J. Celuch
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The factors for obtaining post-conviction relief

An Oregon criminal court has convicted you of a serious crime and now you’re serving the sentence. It’s been costly and emotionally draining. If you believe you’ve wrongly convicted, you have several options.

During the course of a trial, a judge may not always accept admissible evidence, attorneys can make mistakes, and courts can wrongly convict defendants. If you have been wrongly convicted, you can challenge the ruling, so you can reclaim your life and restore your name.

The Oregon state criminal justice system is not infallible. In the past, defense attorneys, prosecutors, witnesses and others have made errors. Omissions and errors have a serious impact on the outcome of a trial, and a conviction will turn a defendant’s world upside down.

Grounds for post-conviction relief

Post-conviction relief is a legal path for having your sentence modified or set aside. If you’re going to obtain post-conviction relief or have your case overturned, then you need to provide solid evidence that the trial was deeply flawed and that led to your conviction.

Here are some common factors for obtaining post-conviction relief.

Factors

  • The defense attorney made serious errors or did not take appropriate action at certain trial phases
  • The court excluded admissible evidence and material facts; the omission of these facts had an effect the outcome of the trial
  • A witness or expert at trial didn’t testify truthfully and damaged your case
  • The judge provided erroneous instructions to the jury that led to the conviction
  • The trial required DNA evidence and DNA testing was not submitted to the court

You need to take some next steps if these factors or other relevant factors apply to your case. First, you need to appeal your conviction through the court system. After an appeal has been denied, you can pursue the post-conviction relief process. Keep in mind, both the prosecution or defense can appeal the case and pursue post-conviction relief judgment.

Results

An appellate court can set aside the sentence, modify the sentence, send the case to a lower court to reconsider the case or order a new trial. In addition, the higher court can review and affirm the conviction.

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