Post Conviction Relief Motion for Appropriate Relief

Do I Have Other Options Besides A Direct Appeal?

A motion for post-conviction relief is generally a one-shot deal. You have one chance to make your case and one shot only. A successful motion for post-conviction relief may allow you to:

  • Reopen your case after a criminal conviction
  • Vacate the conviction in your case, at the judge's order
  • Modify your jail or prison sentence or any fines you have been ordered to pay
  • Request a new trial on the merits of your case
  • Appeal

Post-Conviction Procedure

As with appeals, post-conviction relief is not intended to determine whether you are guilty or innocent of the crimes charged. It is an opportunity to correct an injustice or a constitutional violation that may have occurred at the trial-court level. You may have the right to introduce new evidence, assert prosecutorial misconduct, or challenge an inappropriate sentence.

Federal Post-Conviction Relief

Federal post-conviction relief petitions are more limited than those at the state level. They are often used once the appeals process has been exhausted and are governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Like state-level post-conviction relief, you generally only have one shot at the apple in federal post-conviction relief scenarios.

Motion To Vacate, Set Aside Or Correct A Sentence

The § 2255 is available only to those who have been convicted of a federal offense and who are currently in custody. Being "in custody" does not include being on parole or probation; you must be in jail, prison or otherwise have your liberty restrained pursuant to a federal criminal sentence to meet the "in custody" requirement.

You may challenge:

  • Your sentence as a violation of the Constitution or other federal laws
  • The jurisdiction of the court to hear your case or to hand down your sentence
  • The length of your sentence as violating the maximum amount of time as allowed by federal law
  • The effectiveness of your trial or appellate counsel

A § 2255 motion allows you to introduce new evidence, unlike a direct appeal that is limited to the Record.

Motions for post-conviction relief at the federal level can be complex, time-sensitive and tricky to complete correctly. If you or a loved one is in need of guidance on how to pursue post-conviction relief, you should speak with an experienced state or federal criminal defense lawyer.

Do not take chances with post-conviction relief. You may only have one chance to argue that relief is appropriate. Call 800-760-9071 or send an email to request a consultation with federal defense attorney Patrick Roberts of Roberts Law Group, PLLC, based in North Carolina.

North Carolina vs. M.W.
Charge: Charge: Robbery with A Dangerous Weapon (4 Counts), First Degree Burglary, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with A Dangerous Weapon
Facing: 12 - 17 years in prison
Result: Dismissed

An incarcerated defendant accused our client of participating in the robbery of a group of youth at a party. We were able to raise doubt as to the credibility of this individual. In the end, the prosecutor dismissed these charges, citing a lack of evidence.