Post-Conviction Relief Attorney in San Diego

Facing criminal charges is a daunting experience and things certainly don’t get any easier following a conviction. However, a conviction does not necessarily mean that the case is closed. In many cases, defendants are eligible for some form of post-conviction relief, which refers to the review of your case for errors or mistakes. Some positive results of post-conviction relief include: a new trial; release from custody; or modification of a sentence. A knowledgeable post-conviction relief attorney can help you identify the forms of relief available to you and offer valuable advice regarding relevant laws and the interpretation of the court.


If you or someone you love has been convicted of a crime, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of the right to post-conviction relief.  Take a look at some of the information below to better understand the process:


Who is eligible for post-conviction relief?


Defendants who have been convicted of a crime or have been sentenced following a conviction or a plea of guilty or no contest may all be eligible for some form of post-conviction relief. The following are reasons that a court may find someone convicted of a crime to be deserving of post-conviction relief:


  1. Either the conviction or the sentencing was in violation of the state constitution or the Constitution of the United States of America.

  2. The sentence is greater than that allowed by law or was otherwise made erroneously.

  3. The court had no jurisdiction to impose the sentence.

  4. The convicted person is being held unlawfully due to the expiration of the sentence or an unlawful revocation of probation or parole.

  5. There is evidence that was not presented or heard in the original trial that could exonerate the defendant or impact the sentence.

  6. The conviction is open to be overturned in accordance with any other law, statute, motion, writ, proceeding, or petition.


Forms of post-conviction relief


Now that you have determined that you might be eligible for post-conviction relief, it is important to be aware of what to expect as you seek relief. Depending on your case, your attorney will be able to file an appeal or seek expungement, both of which can reduce the impact of the guilty verdict significantly. Learn more about these two options below:   


Filing an appeal -

When your attorney determines that you are eligible for post-conviction relief, an appeal will be filed. The brief will explain to an appeals court how your rights were violated. Eventually, your attorney will appear before the appellate court to seek justice on your behalf. In best-case scenarios, an appeal can result in:

  • A new trial: New evidence will be presented to a new jury, which could result in a not guilty verdict.

  • Sentence reversal: The penalties of the crime are eliminated, although the guilty verdict remains on the record.

  • Sentence modification: Reduction of fines, jail time, or probation.


Expungement -

Post-conviction relief in the form of expungement is available for those whose appeals were unsuccessful or who were not able to appeal the conviction because they had originally entered a plea of “guilty” or “no contest.” In these cases, after successfully serving the probationary period, your lawyer may seek to have the crime expunged, which means that the criminal records will be sealed. While this is typically only done in cases involving juveniles or misdemeanor offenses, it can be very useful to anyone convicted of a crime. For example, when applying for a job, it is often required that the applicant states whether or not they have been convicted of a crime. If your conviction has been expunged and the records have been sealed, you can legally deny the conviction, making it much easier to find work.


Are you or a loved one seeking post-conviction relief?


When a criminal trial does not go your way, it may initially seem like all hope is lost. But rest assured, the fight is not over. A team of experienced attorneys may find that you’re eligible for post-conviction relief.  Even if your conviction is not completely overturned, you may still have your sentence modified or your record expunged.


To find out if you’re eligible, or if you have any other questions regarding post-conviction relief, please call Salmu Law Firm.  We are happy to discuss your case and provide you with the information you need. Our experienced team is dedicated to working hard to get you the justice you deserve. Give us a call today.