Post-Conviction Relief

In California, there is a general decree that after a conviction of a “no contest” or “guilty” plea, a trial attorney has a primary option of considering a motion for a new trial for the defendant. Under Penal Code §1181, a new trial can be filed under any basis of the code itself, for example, a mistake in the conviction. It is common for a trial attorney to desire to communicate with the jurors from the final verdict. Jurors maintain the right to not speak of what happened during trial, including to the trial attorneys. There are times when discussion with a juror can disclose pertinent information that can lead to multiple forms of post-conviction relief as well as a new trial.

Some example of different types of post-conviction relief are as follows:

  • Record clearance
  • Appeal
  • Termination of probation
  • Reduction of felony to a misdemeanor charge
  • Expungement of criminal record
  • Habeas corpus petition
  • Motion to re-sentence in order to avoid conviction for an inadmissible crime or aggravated felony
  • Motion to overturn conviction ruling based on the ineffective assistance of counsel


Immigrants in California should absolutely try to receive post-conviction relief for many reasons. Even the smallest misdemeanors can have detrimental consequences to immigrants that are not U.S. citizens at the time of a crime. Under the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), a conviction can have the outcome of:

  • Inadmissibility
  • Deportation


If an immigrant is deemed inadmissible in their conviction, the defendant may not be allowed to:

  • Apply for a permanent resident in the U.S. (green card)
  • Become a U.S. citizen
  • Re-enter the country
  • Apply for an “adjustment of status” (illegal to legal immigration final status)


Padilla motions are a special type of motion that is a post-conviction relief resulting from ineffective counsel. It is offered as a form of post-conviction relief for immigrants if the following conditions are met:

  • Defendant pleads guilty because the attorney did not conduct proper research regarding immigration punishments and consequences
  • Defendant guilty plea become finalized after March 2010
  • Defendant is not a citizen and pled guilty to a deportable crime (or inadmissible)


For all the listed reasons, it is important to have great attorneys on your side. The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong come equipped with the best lawyers in order to represent and defend the accused on all post-conviction relief crime convictions. The talent of the lawyers is apparent due to the sensitive nature of these cases and the special attention each defendant receives throughout this tedious process.