Tallahassee Post-Conviction Relief Attorney
A criminal trial is not over when the jury declares the defendant “guilty.” The defendant has the right to seek a number of forms of post-conviction relief. In some cases, this will only affect the defendant’s sentence and not their conviction. But post-conviction relief can also be an attack on the verdict itself–or more precisely, the conduct of the trial that led to that verdict.
At Luke Newman, P.A., we represent defendants seeking post-conviction relief. We understand the legal complexities involved in such an undertaking. And we promise to pursue every available legal avenue to obtain justice for you and your family.
What Are the Grounds for Seeking Post-Conviction Relief?
Motions for post-conviction relief in Florida are often called “3.850 motions” after a specific criminal procedure rule. The rule states a person who has been found guilty–or entered a no-contest plea–in any criminal matter may seek “relief from judgment or release from custody” on any or all of the following grounds:
- The judgment or sentence violated the U.S. Constitution or some federal or state law.
- The court that entered the judgment (or sentence) lacked jurisdiction to do so.
- The sentence exceeded the maximum penalty authorized by law for the specified offense.
- A judgment entered as the result of the defendant’s guilty plea was obtained involuntary.
- The judgment is otherwise “subject to collateral attack.”
Some of the more common grounds that a defendant may raise for attacking a guilty verdict include:
- The defendant’s trial attorney provided ineffective assistance that essentially violated the defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights.
- The prosecution engaged in some form of misconduct, such as intentionally presenting false testimony or altered evidence.
- A witness at trial offered perjured testimony.
- There was misconduct on the part of one or more jurors that tainted the jury’s deliberations.
- There was some material change in the law after the verdict that affected the defendant’s conviction or sentence.
Luke Newman, P.A., Is Here to Help Following a Criminal Conviction
Time is of the essence when seeking post-conviction relief. Florida law imposes certain time limits for Rule 3.850 motions. And if the defendant failed to file an appeal initially, their options for post-conviction relief may be more limited. For instance, a defendant may file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus if they can show they were denied a basic constitutional right.
Once a petition for post-conviction relief is filed, a judge will hold a hearing. If the court agrees relief is warranted, the judge can take a number of actions. While the defendant may not be set free right away, the court may elect to order a new trial, new sentencing hearing, or grant other relief as may be appropriate for the case.
Post-conviction relief is a complex area of law. It is not something that anyone sitting in prison should attempt to navigate themselves. A skilled Tallahassee post-conviction relief lawyer can provide valuable guidance, advice, and advocacy. So if you have a family member or loved one who has been convicted of a crime and needs legal assistance, contact us today at Luke Newman, P.A., to schedule a consultation.