Criminal Law Attorney

What Is a Post-Conviction Appeal?

Perhaps you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime. If there is a good reason that the person who was convicted should not have been, there are some things you can do. The post-conviction hearing act is one of the most important. It has been used in many cases when new evidence is located that shows the conviction may not have been warranted.

Any person who was convicted of a felony can choose to appeal that in front of a panel of three judges. If this appeal doesn’t work out, the supreme court in the state can be contacted to hear the case, but these requests are typically denied.

What is the Post-Conviction Act?

The Illinois Post-Conviction Act offers a way to file a petition in county court in the area where the conviction occurred. The idea is to get collateral relief, which might include resentencing, a conviction reversal, or other things.

Proceedings after the conviction are not considered part of an appeal. The petition can only allege violations that could not have been and were not included in the appeal. As an example, if a new witness or new DNA turns up, these claims can be used in a post-conviction case.

There are many other examples of how this works. For instance, maybe a witness takes back the testimony they made at trial. If the counsel provided bad assistance during the trial, this can also be rectified with a post-conviction petition.

How to File a Petition

In most cases, these petitions are written by hand and filed from prison. A judge will then review the document and determine whether there is merit to it or if it does not have appropriate allegations. If the petition has no merit, a judge may dismiss it.

While there is no right to a lawyer during these proceedings, a lawyer can be requested if the defendant can’t pay for a criminal layer on their own. However, the best option is to hire a criminal defense attorney who can help with the case and write all the needed petitions.

Decisions by a judge can be appealed at various points in the process. A post-conviction appeal is just one of them. If you want to learn more about this process, make sure to work with a knowledgeable attorney with expertise in this area. Gandhi Selim Law has been helping people with convictions in the Cook County Area for over 10 years. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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