Someone convicted of a crime in California faces many tough challenges, including possible jail time and fines, government supervision, and other penalties. These can negatively impact every aspect of your life, your employment situation, your credit, and your relationships.
That’s why it is so important to have experienced and aggressive San Diego defense attorneys on your side. The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong can provide you with effective legal counsel following your conviction to protect your rights and minimize these difficult challenges.
What Can a Post-Conviction Lawyer Do?
To serve the legal interests of someone who has been convicted of a crime, defense attorneys have a number of tools at their disposal. Your attorney can ask the court for post-conviction relief, which can take many different forms.
Basically, there is a separate legal process that takes place after a trial that results in the conviction of the defendant. During this process, the convicted person can challenge the conviction as well as the sentence. This takes place through different legal actions, such as filing an appeal, or petitions seeking clemency or exoneration.
The post-conviction process exists because courts and legislatures recognize there is an inherent human error in the criminal justice system. If someone who has been convicted of a crime lacks legal representation, that person can consult or hire an attorney to represent them during this important process.
Arguing for Your Innocence
When experienced and aggressive defense attorneys take on post-conviction matters for their clients, their ultimate goal is exoneration—proving the convicted person innocent.
Many people do not fully understand their Constitutional rights both before and after a criminal conviction. One of the most important Constitutional rights is to have the effective assistance of counsel at your trial. This means not just legal representation, but an effective representation, whether the defendant’s attorney was appointed by the court or retained by the defendant.
Your post-conviction attorney will examine the record of your trial to look for errors committed by your defense attorney. Many errors made during the trial do not amount to ineffective assistance of counsel. But it is possible that serious errors were made during the trial and that your post-conviction attorney can make an argument that these errors prevented you from getting a fair trial.
Managing the Appeals Process
It is important to remember that an appeal is not a new trial. It is a post-conviction proceeding that asks a higher court to reconsider some issue from the trial. It has strict guidelines and procedures.
Even if a defendant’s conviction cannot be overturned or their guilty plea was withdrawn, post-conviction relief can still be available. Convictions can be modified. Sentences can sometimes be reduced. It is vital to consult with a post-conviction lawyer about the details of your case as soon as possible.
Petitioning for Clemency
After sentencing, a defendant also has the option of petitioning the clemency. These petitions are not routinely granted, but it is possible that a particularly harsh criminal sentence can be reduced.
Even after you have been convicted of a crime and sentenced, you still have a chance to have your conviction overturned or have your criminal sentence reduced. The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong are experienced post-conviction lawyers with a well-earned reputation for aggressively defending their clients’ rights.