Many defendants think it is too late when the sentence of their crime is already read by the court. While this holds some truth, there will always be a chance for you and your attorney to appeal. This is called post-conviction relief. And no, it does not apply to every case and no, not everyone can have this luxury.
Post-conviction relief is the collective term for different grants a defendant can get to lighten their penalties or acquit them of the case altogether. This can be in matter of going through a retrial, withdrawing a guilty plea, and other types of motion for post-conviction relief.
Everyone can take the path of a post-conviction relief but not everyone can be successful. Engaging on a post-conviction relief is challenging the court’s decision and needs strong arguments, evidences, and willpower from both of you and your criminal defense attorney to work.
We will be looking at more information about post-conviction relief in this article through its definition according to the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and the steps you can take to secure it.
What is post-conviction relief according to NRS?
The NRS talks about post-conviction relief in Title 3 or the Remedies; Special Actions and Proceedings section and describes the appeal as a request of relief from judgment of conviction in a criminal case. It is basically an appeal to the higher court to take a look at the decision made by the lower court. Petition of Habeas Corpus is also under a post-conviction relief which is a writ that takes a detainee to the court to establish if the court had enough and legitimate reasons for sentencing. This works well for institutionalized detainees.
Further meaning of post-conviction relief is appealing to the court that your trial counsel did not or was not able to work enough for your defense. You could claim that your attorney did not help you gather enough evidence such as witnesses or that your attorney did not explain to you well of what is happening on your trial or the entirety of your case.
When one wants to submit appeal for a federal post-conviction relief, they should do it within the timetable provided after the final sentence was given otherwise the overall appeal will be rejected. When presented within the timeframe, the court will assess if you are fit for reconsideration. Know that the court will only find faults in the trial process, not the case as a whole.
What is the difference of post-conviction relief to other appeals?
A defendant and his or her attorney can perform several appeals to question a judge’s decision but post-conviction relief stands out from the rest due to its promptness and efficacy when used well.
A post-conviction relief has several defining factors such as:
- Having the same judge who brought down the decree overseeing the appeal
- Quick timetable meaning you will have to be haste to submit the appeal
- Being a type of appeal that challenges or questions the events of the trial where the higher court has the power to order the lower court for a retread of the case
How’s and what’s of different post-conviction reliefs
To appeal for a post-conviction relief in Las Vegas or any other areas in Nevada, you and your criminal defense attorney will have to work what type of relief works best for you.
There is the motion for a new trial where a defendant can contest the final hearing. This can only be granted if the defendant shows very convincing angles such as jury misconduct and judicial error. The grace period for this motion is seven (7) days but two (2) years if there is new evidence.
Withdrawing a guilty plea is also one form of post-conviction relief. This was only made effective in 2017 where a defendant can renounce their guilty plea, plead guilty with insanity, and nolo contender. This plea can only be accepted within a year after the sentence or when the defendant is not imprisoned at the time of filing.
For the Writ of Habeas Corpus, a year after conviction is given for defendants. According to NRS 34.370, a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus must be validated by the petitioner or the petitioner’s counsel through specifying the state of the convicted, the area of conviction, and all the parties involved. When the convicted files for a Writ of Habeas Corpus, he or she must name the constitutional rights that were validated during the trial and provide evidences to support it. You should realize that Writ of Habeas Corpus is a remarkable form of post-conviction relief and is a long shot for many defendants.
Being sentenced for a crime is a surely a mortifying situation. You feel trapped and hopeless and you think you got no choice but to face the penalties laid down on you. What many do not realize that in the legal system, it will always never too late. Convicts are released because of evidences found many years later and judges are usually accepting of motions for post-conviction relief from those who seem deserving of it. Fight for your right to post-conviction relief with the aid of your criminal defense attorney who holds expertise with the matter.