Post-Conviction Relief, Appeals & Motions

Been convicted?  Should you keep fighting?

Criminal convictions can haunt you for the rest of your life, not to mention years of imprisonment, lost wages, missed opportunities, family strains, and missed memories.  Innocent people, unfortunately, do get convicted for many reasons such as bad legal advice or poor counsel during their trial, or a wrongful judgment, or the state withholding exculpatory evidence, or a prosecutor not doing his job well.  We like to believe that justice will work out in the end, but that’s not always the case.  That is why you have to keep fighting and you NEED to have an attorney that will fight for your justice and freedom.  The Rael Law Firm will fight to get you the justice you deserve.

What is an Appeal?

An appeal is an application to a higher court for a decision to be reversed in an attempt to correct an error that occurred in the lower court.  If the case is being tried at the county level, then an appeal would move to the State Court of Appeals or the State Supreme Court.  If the case is being tried at the Federal level, then an appeal would move to the Federal Court of Appeals or even the United States Supreme Court.

What is a Motion?

In addition to appeals, there is a Motion for New Trial.  This is a motion filed in the same court that heard the previous trial, but the attorney argues that there was a wrongful judgment in the trial and the case should be re-tried.  The previous judge is who would make the ruling to grant a Motion for New Trial. Post-conviction motions also include Motions to Modify Sentencing.  In many cases, the sentencing applies “restrictions” from certain individuals, or sex offender registration, or other limiting conditions on your rights during probation or parole. The judge can make modifications to those conditions by filing a Motion to Modify which allows you to petition the judge as to why you think the conditions should be changed.

What is Habeas Corpus?

A Writ of Habeas Corpus is another type of relief. Georgia law states that post-conviction Habeas relief can be awarded if there was a substantial violation of the convicted person’s federal or Georgia constitutional rights during the previous conviction.  Post-conviction relief may also be granted if a violation of the petitioner’s constitutional rights, rendering the conviction invalid.  The constitutional claims could include: the convicted person received poor counsel during their trial, or they were denied due process during the criminal trial if the prosecution withheld exculpatory evidence, or because the guilty plea was involuntary, all of which support that the conviction was unconstitutional. If deemed constitutional, a convicted person may still obtain relief if the sentencing is for the punishment exceeds the lawful maximum for that offense. Even if both the conviction and the sentence are valid, relief is nonetheless available if the Habeas petitioner’s custody pursuant to the conviction is unconstitutional on grounds unrelated to the conviction or sentence, as where the petitioner’s probation was revoked in violation of a constitutional right.