Legal consequences can have far-reaching effects on a person determined guilty of committing an offense. And while you know you might face certain restrictions, fines and penalties, getting in trouble with the law can be difficult for your family as well.

However, these matters may be increasingly difficult for those who receive wrongful convictions. If you disagree with a judgment and have an incarcerated family member who you believe is innocent, do not give up hope. Depending on the situation, you might be able to help them seek exoneration.

Requirements of a post-conviction motion

In some cases, post-conviction DNA analysis results in exoneration and the release from prison. Whether DNA proves your loved one’s innocence or provides doubt related to their initial conviction, you might be wise to explore your options for helping them file a motion for exoneration.

Along with the motion, an affidavit must:

  • State the innocence of the person convicted
  • Include previous DNA test results
  • Specifically identify the evidence you want tested

When filing an affidavit, you should also help your loved one provide their theory of how DNA testing and analysis could support their innocence.

What happens once you file a motion?

Upon receiving your motion, the state will respond, either refuting or accepting your request. The court may order DNA testing if they determine that the evidence has been sufficiently protected and you met the filing requirements.

The court would also likely consider whether there is reasonable possibility that your motion could lead to a finding of innocence, or the reason for filing is to prove your loved one’s innocence. If the court determines your motion is in effort to delay the administration of justice, they may refute your request.