Taking advantage of all your options after trial
While direct appeal is an option one should take advantage of in nearly every case, it is not the only method of challenging a conviction following trial in a federal or state court. Various forms of post-conviction relief are available even after a defendant has exhausted direct appeal options. Much like appeals, however, post-conviction practice is vastly different from trial work and requires an attorney with specific experience and skill in the area.
Types of post-conviction relief
When a defendant’s state or federal appeals have been exhausted, a petition for a writ of habeas corpus may offer a second opportunity to obtain a new trial, a reduced sentence or even release under some circumstances:
- Section 2254 petitions — A person convicted under state law and incarcerated in a state facility may still seek a review of the constitutionality of the detention in federal court through a Section 2254 petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Unlike in appeals, under certain circumstances, a federal court entertaining a Section 2254 petition may hold hearings to take new evidence.
- Section 2255 petitions — A person convicted under federal law and incarcerated in a federal facility may challenge the legality of the detention or sentence through a Section 2255 petition. The scope of review for this type of petition is not as broad as that of a 2254 petition. However, the court may still review the case to determine if the trial court acted without jurisdiction violated the U.S. Constitution or imposed a sentence beyond what is authorized by law.
- Section 2244 petitions — While not a separate type of petition strictly speaking, Section 2244 imposes special requirements on successive petitions filed after a prior petition has been adjudicated. A prisoner detained in state prison may file successive 2254 petitions as long as the new petition is based upon either a change in the law or the discovery of new facts that could not have been reasonably known at the time of the trial or prior petition.
Exercise every option to win your freedom
If you have been incarcerated in state or federal prison, nothing is more important than your freedom. At Alliant Law Group, LLC our attorneys are well-versed in the legally intensive area of habeas corpus practice. We can diligently review the record in your case and applicable changes in the law to construct compelling arguments against the legality of your continued confinement. If you are interested in challenging the legality of your state or federal conviction or sentence, Please contact Managing Partner Daniel Conidi for a free consultation at Dconidi@alliantlaw.us