Appeals and Post-Conviction Relief
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Appeals and Post-Conviction Relief in Arizona
Once a person is convicted and sentenced, there are still legal remedies available to reverse the conviction, obtain a new trial, or receive a new or different sentence. The criminal defense team at Rowley Chapman and Barney, Ltd. are experienced in handling appeals and obtaining post-conviction relief and can assist in getting relief from a conviction after trial or even after a plea agreement has been entered. Appeals and post-conviction relief are different. An appeal is a constitutional right and is available following a conviction after trial. An appeal is meant to identify and correct errors that took place during the trial. A person is entitled to relief on appeal regardless of who committed the error. Because the judge makes decisions about legal ruling, the most common claims of error involved incorrect decisions made by the Judge in allowing improper evidence or testimony into trial. Improper conduct committed by the government can also be identified and challenged on appeal. It is best to have a knowledgeable and experienced criminal attorney review the record to determine all of the issues that can be raised on appeal. Often, if an issue is not identified and presented on the appeal, it cannot be raised again in the future. There are specific deadlines where an appeal must be filed, so it is critical to contact an attorney immediately for assistance on an appeal. Post-Conviction Relief Petitions
Post-conviction relief petitions are different than an appeal. Also called “PCR’s” or “Rule 32 petitions”, Post-conviction relief is available after an appeal is unsuccessful, following a plea agreement has been entered, or at any time there is new evidence that the court should consider.
Just like with appeals, there are deadlines that a person must file a PCR petition. If those deadlines are missed, courts will not consider the petition except in rare instances.
Post-Conviction Relief Petitions after Trial
After an appeal has been filed and resolved, a person can still file a PCR Petition challenging other aspects of the trial that could not be addressed on appeal. This normally relates to the conduct of the defense attorney. If the defense attorney was ineffective for any number of reasons, an individual may be entitled to have their conviction or sentence vacated which results in a new trial or the opportunity to be re-sentenced.
Post-Conviction Relief Petitions after a Plea Agreement
When a person enters a plea agreement, they waive or give up the right to appeal. They retain, however, the right to challenge their sentence, or the conduct of their attorney in a post-conviction relief petition. In many cases, the judge did not properly consider information that should have resulted in a more lenient sentence. In other instances, the attorney did not present information that should have been presented. Additionally, there are cases where the defense attorney did not properly advise a client about their case, the plea offer, or penalties associated with it. Any of these reasons, along with others, entitle a court to grant relief from the conviction or penalty.
Legal Help Appeals or Post-Conviction Relief Petitions
The attorneys that make up the criminal defense team at Rowley Chapman & Barney, Ltd. are experienced trial and appellate attorneys that can help you with your appeal or post-conviction relief petition, or with any other criminal defense matters.