When facing criminal charges in Indiana, people might be under the impression that once the case is complete and they have been convicted, it is over. They might have a vague understanding of the appeals process, but do not know about other options to continue fighting to reach a positive outcome.
One such strategy is trying to get post-conviction relief. Post-conviction relief is a strategy in which the defendant challenges aspects of the case. This can be a viable strategy to explore if there were problems or errors with the case. It is a specific area of the law and it is important to have help from those who specialize in it.
Key points about post-conviction relief
When thinking about post-conviction relief, it is important to understand what it entails. After a conviction or sentence, the person could assert some issues warrant post-conviction relief. This includes claiming that their rights under the Constitution of the United States or the state constitution or laws were violated.
There can also be problems with evidence, as when material facts were omitted. These errors could be sufficient to vacate the conviction or sentence.
There could be problems with the sentence itself, such as when a sentence exceeds the maximum the law allows.
The sentence might have expired or the person’s release, probation or parole was unlawfully revoked. There may have been an error that collaterally attacks the sentence or conviction. Post-conviction relief is separate from an appeal.
Those with grounds to appeal should still do so.
Post-conviction relief can be a wise strategy if problems with the case are found
To achieve justice, it is imperative to look at every aspect of a case and try to find a solution. Since a criminal conviction can have such an extensive impact on a person’s life in every way, any form of relief can be helpful.
Not every case is handled perfectly by the prosecutors or the court. Mistakes can be made in myriad situations and it will require qualified guidance to find them and ensure the case was handled fairly. If it was not, post-conviction relief can be the result.
A conviction and jail sentence is difficult enough for a person to endure. The aftermath can be just as problematic as they will need to deal with the lingering challenges that come with a criminal record. It can hinder their ability to get certain jobs and cast a negative light on them in the community.
Just as citizens are required to follow the rules, so too must law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts. For example, leaving out evidence that could have been beneficial to the defense could be grounds to fight the conviction through an appeal or by getting post-conviction relief.