Post-conviction relief can help Pennsylvanians behind bars

Post-conviction relief can help Pennsylvanians behind bars

| Oct 22, 2020 | Criminal Defense

Getting wrongfully convicted of a serious crime can feel like your fate is sealed. After months of taking on the criminal justice system and fighting for your freedom, you have been sentenced to prison. The good news is, you do not have to accept being wrongly convicted of a felony without a fight.

Possible next steps after conviction

There are several ways you can challenge a conviction, both in Pennsylvania state court and at the federal level:

  • Appealing the conviction: asking an appellate court to review possible errors that occurred during trial that affected the outcome
  • Seeking a retrial: when there are serious errors, the appellate court can order that you get a new trial
  • Habeas corpus proceedings: a petition for habeas corpus is an argument that you are incarcerated for an unconstitutional reason

These are all ways of trying to get the conviction overturned. Other forms of post-conviction proceedings are ways to get released early, such as:

  • Pardons
  • Clemency
  • Commution
  • Parole hearings, when allowed

Finally, there is expungement. This is a way of sealing a conviction from your record after your sentence is over. Clearing your criminal record can help you with getting a job, finding a place to live, or getting approved for a bank loan.

Never give up hope

None of these forms of post-conviction relief is easy. But there is always hope. The assistance of an attorney who practices criminal appellate law and focuses on post-conviction relief can greatly improve your chances of a successful outcome. Much of their job involves reviewing what happened at your trial that could have prejudicial errors. This type of practice is different than what most criminal defense attorneys practice.