While many believe that a guilty verdict is the last word in their case, this is not always the case. If factual errors or misconduct resulted in a conviction, a person can appeal for post-conviction relief. Are you eligible for post-conviction relief?
Was your attorney ineffective at handling your case?
You rely on your attorney to give you the guidance you need in and out of the courtroom. If they do not perform that duty effectively and their deficient performance results in a conviction, you may be eligible to have that conviction overturned. An attorney that failed to offer you the legal context you needed to enter your plea, for example, may be found ineffective by the court.
Is there new evidence in your case?
In some cases, newly discovered evidence could call your initial conviction into question. DNA tests could provide new context to your case, witnesses could change their stories or a significant piece of evidence may have been neglected in an initial trial.
Did the prosecutor or jury engage in misconduct?
Prosecutorial misconduct can cover a wide variety of illegal activities that undermine the justice system. If the prosecutor in your case entered false evidence into court records, intentionally excluded evidence that could have created a different result for your case or practiced discrimination in the jury selection process, they may have committed misconduct.
Juror misconduct could also be cause for post-conviction relief. Jury members who investigate the case outside of what the attorneys present in court or who communicate inappropriately about the case damage their ability to be impartial. In other instances, jurors who abuse drugs or alcohol while acting as a juror impair their ability to judge fairly.
If you believe that you may be eligible for post-conviction relief, consider discussing your case with an attorney. With the right legal strategy, the court may modify your sentence or allow you a new trial.