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Massachusetts Post-Conviction Relief

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After you have been convicted of a crime and received a sentence, it can change your life and have a major impact on your future. But even if you took a guilty plea, you still have some rights that cannot be waived. These protect you from having to face an unfair sentence handed to you because of a mistake or an error. Some of the legal reasons for filing for post-conviction relief include:

  • If your attorney made an error 
  • If new evidence came up that can change the decision, and if there was no way for the attorneys to have known any differently, no matter how thoroughly they researched the case (i.e. when a witness recants a testimony)
  • The ability to have your conviction dropped if the law changes and what you were convicted of is no longer a crime, or now has a reduced sentence

Many people assume that when they get a decision from the court of appeals that it is the final decision, but that’s not always true. While the majority of cases are concluded after the court of appeals files their ruling, you still have options for post-conviction relief. If you were convicted of a crime and that conviction was upheld in the appellate court, then you need to act quickly and speak to an appeals attorney right away. 

What Is Post-Conviction Relief

Post-convictions relief, also known as a Rule 32 Petition, is different from appellate courts in a few ways. First, in an appeal, you are limited to using only the transcripts from the original trial, as well as whatever is on the court record. The arguments are also filed in trial courts, while appeals are heard in circuit courts. To sum it up, it’s a formal, legal review of a prior case. 

But different from an appellate hearing, when you file a motion for post-conviction relief, you can bring forward new arguments and evidence. For example, if there were promises made and outcomes assured by your attorney that didn’t unfold, then that conversation where he or she made those promises wouldn’t be in the official court record. But your concerns could be brought up in a post-conviction relief hearing about your attorney’s competence.

What are Massachusetts Post-Conviction Conditions 

Appeal attorney Brett V. Beaubien provides you with exemplary representation in the following post-conviction matters.

Appealing A Criminal Charge

A criminal conviction can impact the rest of your life. An attorney can help you expunge or seal convictions or arrests. It’s important to note that post-conviction cases are heard in trial court, not the circuit courts. Filing a post-conviction relief may be your best option after the denial of your direct appeal. Brett V. Beaubien, Attorney At Law has extensive experience in representing clients in decision reversals.

Probation 

Everyone on probation has certain rules they must follow based on their exact sentence. But one rule that’s across the board is that you must obey the law and abstain from any illegal activity. Depending on the severity of the infraction, you could be facing serious consequences that will alter your life. A motion for post-conviction relief may be able to help you from facing harsher consequences, but you need to act fast and speak to a lawyer right away.

Immigration

There are a number of crimes that can affect a person’s immigration status in the United States. A visa is given to a person with the understanding that they will obey all U.S. laws while here. An arrest can lead to deportation, if convicted, even if they have only been charged with minor crimes. If United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finds out that you have been arrested, they will try to act quickly to have you removed. 

Revise or Revoke A Decision

A motion to revise or revoke a sentence, not a conviction, can be made by the judge or the defendant if justice was not done. A motion to revise or revoke is usually made to get a less- severe or even a different sentence. This is the exact opposite of a motion for a new trial, which is when the conviction itself is being appealed. The trial judge has 60 days to file a revision or revocation after the imposition of a sentence if they deem that any part of the sentence is illegal. 

New trial

A motion for a new trial may be filed if there is a discovery of new evidence that was not presented before. For example, when a witness from the trial comes forward with a different testimony from the one they shared during the trial, or another witness may come forward that nobody ever knew was associated with the case. 

Determining Eligibility

There are some important deadlines that need to be taken into account with post-conviction relief. You have two years from the date that your conviction became final to file for post-conviction relief. Your conviction is final when a review of your direct appeal is complete. However, if you did not file a direct appeal, then you have 30 days after the conviction becomes final in the trial courts.

Why You Need An Attorney

One of the myths about post-conviction relief is that if a motion is granted then that will lead to the case being dismissed. However, it could lead to the case being put in the dock again. And then that could lead to a different outcome, one that you don’t want. Or, in the case of new evidence being discovered in a case that ended years ago, the original evidence may have already been destroyed, and so this new evidence could lead to a dismissal anyway. 

It takes years of experience arguing in courts to become an attorney that can handle almost anything that comes his way. Whether there is a motion filed, or anything comes up from the opposing counsel, you can trust that Brett V. Beaubien and his team will work hard for you!

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