Post-conviction relief

What is “post-conviction relief”?

It’s a second chance.

“Post” means “after,” “conviction” means “guilt,” and “relief” means, basically, “making life easier.” So “post-conviction relief” means making life easier after you are found guilty of crime. It includes appeals, writs of habeas corpus, withdrawals of guilty pleas, motions to vacate old convictions, motions to seal records, even motions to expunge (meaning destroy—yes, destroy) records.

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?
Your past doesn’t need to limit your future. Everyone’s situation is different, but you might qualify to get rid of your convictions and open up a second chance for yourself.

If you want to find out more, you can come talk to me for a one-time consultation ($350) to find out what is possible in your individual situation. 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. If you want to find out more, I invite you to contact me and set up a consultation.

Change your past. Change your future.