Being unfairly convicted or sentenced is one of the worst injustices a person can experience. An unfair conviction or sentence can cost years of a person’s life that he or she can never get back, not to mention a criminal record that can forever hold the person back.
Thankfully, our criminal justice system is set up in a way that allows people to speak up and challenge convictions or sentences when they feel that their rights have been violated.
One way of doing this is though an appeal in federal or state court. Criminal appeals require a thorough review of the trial record as well as the legal grounds that an appeal can be based upon.
Every aspect of the case and the law must be examined in order to possibly succeed with an appeal. That is why it is essential to work with a criminal defense lawyer who is extremely knowledgeable and pays close attention to detail.
Other methods of challenging a conviction or sentence include requesting a new trial, filing a motion to correct sentencing errors or getting credit for time served, requesting a pardon or executive clemency, or seeking an expungement and/or the sealing of an arrest record or conviction.
Finally, when a person believes that he or she was convicted because of an ineffective defense lawyer and an appeal has not been effective, the person may be able to challenge the conviction or sentence by filing a writ of habeas corpus.
The writ of habeas corpus can be filed in state or federal court and also applies when a person was convicted or sentenced because of an involuntary guilty plea or a coerced confession.
Individuals who have been unfairly convicted or sentenced may feel like the world is against them and they have no options, but there is still hope. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can provide more information on any post-conviction relief that may be available.