Do You Need a Post-Conviction Attorney in Maryland?
After you are convicted or pled guilty to a crime and are certain that your sentence is unfair and unbiased, you may contest the ruling in a post-conviction case. These cases will help you prove that the judge or jury may have made a mistake. The US criminal justice system allows a defendant to contest a conviction by filing a claim known as a federal or state habeas corpus case.
Post-conviction hearings typically take place after an appeal has been decided. Despite this, no one is necessarily barred from seeking post-conviction relief just because they failed to appeal after their conviction.
Consult your Maryland criminal lawyer if you believe that your sentence was delivered in error. Post-conviction lawyers in Maryland will help you challenge the judge or jury’s guilty verdict and challenge an unfair sentence. Reach out to Scrofano Law today!
Importance of a Post-conviction Hearing in Maryland
A post-conviction petition can be filed by a person who has been convicted of a crime and is incarcerated, on parole, or on probation in Maryland. You must file the petition within ten years of the date on which you were convicted or pleaded guilty during your initial trial.
It is most common that clients claim that they did not have effective assistance of counsel during trials, sentencing, post-sentencing proceedings, or in a case involving a guilty plea or probation violation. Other possible allegations include an involuntary plea, prosecutorial misconduct, etc. Numerous remedies are available, including a new trial, a new sentence, a correction of the sentence, and permission to file a belate post-trial motion.
A different judge will be assigned to your post-conviction hearing from the one who presided over your initial trial. As part of this procedure, the defendant may provide additional evidence and raise additional issues after the verdict has been rendered.
Post-conviction cases are filed in the trial court where the accused was convicted. Also, in post-conviction court, the defendant is permitted to address and give a statement during the hearing proceedings.
Defendants can file the petition themselves or have their attorney do it for them. Each conviction entitles you to one post-conviction hearing. Applicants who have already had a post-conviction petition denied cannot be granted another hearing on subsequent post-conviction petitions. Additionally, a subsequent post-conviction proceeding does not provide you with the right to counsel. An attorney would have to be hired at your own expense.
To reduce the risk of your post-conviction hearing being denied, it is vital to hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer who has experience in this area of law.
What Is Maryland Post Conviction Relief?
A Maryland post-conviction relief is a legal procedure where a criminal defendant is permitted to contest the original trial’s outcome. You can pursue post-conviction relief claims even if you have not appealed the matter.
There are several grounds under which you can file a post-conviction petition claim in Maryland State:
- The initial circuit court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.
- There were legal errors in the sentencing.
- The conviction or the proceedings violated the US Constitution or that of the state.
- There were mistakes with the evidence provided during the initial sentencing.
- Other illegal acts like the jury or attorney’s performance may have been biased.
What Is the Post-Conviction Process?
During the hearing, the attorney will conduct the following:
- Your representative will re-investigate the case by assessing your previous files and evidence and conducting their investigation.
- The lawyer will then file a petition in court to notify on the grounds of the relief.
- The court assigns a prosecutor who will respond to the case.
- Afterward, the court will hold an evidentiary hearing where evidence and witnesses will be presented before the judge.
- The legal case proceeding will take place. In this process, the jury is not involved.
If you or your family member qualify for a post-conviction petition, consider hiring an attorney to advise and take you through the process. An attorney can review the case and highlight the irregularities that may have occurred during the original trial.
Possible Outcomes of a Post-Conviction Hearing
During the original hearing, some errors and mistakes may have led to wrongful convictions. A skilled Maryland expungement lawyer will fight for a reduced sentence or have your case dismissed based on the evidence and testimony during these proceedings.
In most post-conviction petitions, the outcome may be as follows:
- The conviction may be reversed and may result in a new trial.
- The judge may issue the defendant a new sentence
- The sentence may be reduced
- The defendant may be permitted to file overdue post-trial motions.
- The case may be expunged.
Seek Help From a Post Conviction Attorney
A post-conviction proceeding is a very complicated part of criminal law. You will need the assistance of an attorney with experience with post-conviction proceedings who can increase your chances of success.
Our lawyers will vigorously fight for a reduced sentence or conviction deleted from your records. Contact Morgan E. Leigh of Scrofano Law for assistance with legal issues on wrongful convictions today or if you have questions on how to check Maryland criminal records.
Commonly Asked Questions
What Is the Most Common Type of Post-Conviction Relief?
Post-conviction petitions are typically filed when a petitioner claims an involuntary guilty plea was the result of prosecutorial misconduct. It is also possible that they will claim that their initial counsel failed to provide effective assistance during sentencing or even after they pleaded guilty.
Can You Appeal Guilty Plea in Maryland?
Defendants who have pled guilty to a crime are not immediately entitled to appeal. However, they may petition a court of special appeals within 30 days after the trial to appeal.
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