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Rhode Island Post-Conviction Relief

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There are many assumptions about appellate courts, one being that they have the final say on a particular case. But what happens if your attorney made an error that caused you to get the sentence you didn’t want? Or the law has changed and now the crime you were convicted of has been legalized? New evidence was discovered that could significantly impact or even overturn a decision? These are the situations post-conviction relief is intended to remedy.

A criminal conviction can change your life, affect your job prospects, and can stay on your record for years. When someone takes a guilty plea or is found guilty, they still have certain rights that cannot be waived and are protected by the Constitution. These rights protect against any serving an unfair or illegal sentence, or being unfairly punished.

If you are convicted of a crime, appealed it, and that conviction was still upheld by an appellate court, then you need to act fast. That decision by the panel of judges does not have to be the final word. But there is a time frame that you need to file your post-conviction relief in, so you have to act fast.

What Is Post-Conviction Relief

A motion to file for post-conviction relief is different from an appellate hearing in the circuit court. During the appeal, only the original court documents, transcripts, and records from the original trial are reviewed before a decision is made. However, during a Rule 32 Petition, which is another name for post-conviction relief, new evidence can be brought forward. An example would be if your attorney made promises or said misleading things to you while counseling you. Those conversations would not be in the court record, but they’re important to help you get the justice you deserve. Appeals are heard in circuit courts, whereas motions for post-conviction relief are filed in trial courts.

What are Rhode Island Post-Conviction Conditions 

There are a couple of situations where filing for post-conviction relief may be your best option. Call Brett V. Beaubien, Attorney At Law to find out more.

New Trial 

There could be a few reasons why it would be best to appeal a case using the new and pertinent evidence. But note, it must be information that could not have been known before, no matter how much research anyone could have done. For example, a key witness at the trial may admit years later that they were lying while under oath, or provided misleading testimony. Or someone may have come forward who wasn’t associated with the original trial, and nobody could have known would have been involved. 

Revise Or Revoke A Decision

In contrast to a new trial, where evidence is presented to change a sentence, a motion to revise or evoke is intended to change the conviction. A sentence may be hard to harsh, unfair, or even illegal, so the goal of post-conviction relief is to have the sentence reduced or dismissed. There are two ways a motion to revoke or revise can be filed: by the appellant or by the judge. If the trial judge becomes aware of the fact that their ruling was illegal, they have 60 days to file a motion to revise or revoke after they impose a sentence.

Appealing A Criminal Conviction

If a conviction was upheld in the circuit courts, you still have options. An experienced attorney can help you to expunge or seal your record so that it has a diminished impact on your future. Call our office now if your direct appeal was denied. There are things that need to be filed in a rapid timeframe, so call now.

Immigration

When a person immigrates to the United States, they sign a document certifying that they will obey all local, state, and federal laws during their time here. Immigrants are at risk of being deported or removed if they break any laws, regardless of how minor they are. The United States Citizenship and ImmigrationServices (USCIS) works quickly to identify, detain and then deport immigrants who have been found to have broken the law. If you are desperate to keep your family together, then call us now today so we can work on your case.

Probation

After your probation hearing and you received your sentence, you signed a paper stating that during your probation you would obey the law and abstain from illegal activities. An infraction while you’re on probation can have a severe impact on your sentencing on your future. Filing for post-conviction relief may help to reduce your chances of facing harsher consequences.

Determining Eligibility

The best move you can make right now is to speak to an experienced attorney who can advise you on your case. There are different deadlines for when motions need to be filed, and those are determined by the specifics of each case. But here is a general overview: you have two years from the date of your conviction to file for post-conviction relief. When the review of your direct appeal is complete, then your conviction becomes final. If, however, you did not file a direct appeal, then you have 30 days after your conviction becomes fine on the trial courts in order to file your motion.

Why You Need An Attorney

A common myth is that when a case is appealed, the case can be dismissed. This is not always true. The case could actually be put back in the docket again, which could lead to a worse outcome when it’s reopened. The only way to have confidence in how you are moving forward with your motion for post-conviction relief is to hire an attorney who you trust and who has several years of experience successfully getting clients the outcomes they want.

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