Post-conviction relief

What is “post-conviction relief”?

It means taking convictions off your record. Or reducing the sentence. Or reducing the money you owe.

Much of my post-conviction work is for immigrants, who face immigration problems because of an old conviction. If you can get post-conviction relief, then the immigration problem can disappear. If you have an immigration lawyer already, I work closely with them to try to get the overall result you want.

Post-conviction relief can include appeals, writs of habeas corpus, withdrawing guilty pleas, vacating old convictions, sealing records, sometimes even physically destroying court records. It can also include reducing sentences, changing which crime you were found guilty of, and reducing legal financial obligations, such as court costs and restitution.

Are people stuck with convictions forever?
Many people think that after they get a record, that’s it. They think the conviction will stay with them for the rest of their lives, forever making it harder to get a job, go to school, get an apartment, vote, avoid deportation, and the many other consequences that come from having a record. They think the conviction is even more of a problem if they pled guilty, which more than 90% of criminal defendants end up doing.

But many people are eligible for post-conviction relief without realizing it.

Don’t some convictions go away over time?
Other people think an old conviction isn’t affecting their life anymore, only to have an employer or a landlord or an immigration officer run a background check. In this day of the Internet, electronic records, and private background companies, a conviction that might have slowly faded into irrelevance in years past can now stay with a person for the rest of their life.

What’s the next step?

If you want to find out more, I invite you to contact me and set up a consultation, where I will assess your individual circumstances. Then, if you want to go forward, you can hire me to get the court records, talk to witnesses, write a motion to the court, whatever needs to be done. (If you’re thinking you might want to do this, you should talk to me or another lawyer as soon as possible, because some procedures have strict deadlines.)

This is fairly technical work that not every lawyer knows how to do. But I am an experienced criminal-defense lawyer, and I have done many trials, appeals, even some immigration work. So I can figure out what issues to look for, what records to get, what witnesses to talk to, and how to bring it all together in a legal document (a “brief”) that asks a judge to make your life easier.

Change your past. Change your future.