Post Conviction Relief Georgia

Explore your legal options for post-conviction relief in Georgia with Conklin Law. Understand appeals, habeas corpus, and more in our detailed guide.

Exploring Post-Conviction Relief in Georgia

Have you or a loved one been convicted of a crime in Georgia? Several post-conviction relief remedies may be available for you to challenge your conviction.

Post-conviction relief encompasses several remedies, including appeals, post-trial motions, and petitions, that allow defendants to challenge their convictions or sentences. These remedies are generally sought to challenge the validity of a criminal conviction or sentence or the legality of incarceration. Grounds can range from factual and legal errors to constitutional violations.

Consult a post-conviction relief attorney if you want to challenge your conviction. A conviction is not the end of the road, but any ensuing endeavors to obtain a more favorable outcome require extensive legal knowledge and experience. Our post-conviction relief lawyer at Conklin Law may be able to help you. Schedule your free consultation today.

What is Post-Conviction Relief?

Post-conviction relief is a means of allowing defendants to challenge their conviction or sentence. The process varies from state to state, but it generally involves a petition or motion filed in court that presents evidence of errors or constitutional violations.

It is important to note that post-conviction relief is not another trial but rather a means to review the legality of the conviction or sentence.

Types of Post-Conviction Relief in Georgia

Persons convicted and sentenced in a Georgia state court have several options for post-conviction relief. However, the details of the case and the grounds for requesting such relief determine which option to pursue. Common types of post-conviction relief remedies include:

Motion for New Trial

A motion for a new trial is a legal request by the defendant asking the trial court judge to overturn a verdict and grant a new trial. The motion for a new trial is filed within 30 days from the entry of judgment date. Some of the grounds and arguments raised for a new trial include the following:

  • Newly discovered evidence that wasn’t available during the trial
  • The judgment contradicts the evidence presented
  • Insufficiency of the evidence
  • Legal errors

To file a motion for a new trial, your attorney will:

  1. Draft a written motion outlining grounds and legal arguments for challenging a judgment and file it with the trial court.
  2. The opposing party files a response to the motion.
  3. The court schedules a motion hearing to allow parties to present arguments and evidence.
  4. The court reviews the motion and makes a decision. The court will either:
  • Grant the motion and order a new trial
  • Deny the motion

Direct Appeal

A direct appeal is a legal process where a convicted defendant brings his case to a higher court to review the trial court’s decision. Some of the grounds to appeal a criminal case in Georgia include the following:

  • Legal errors
  • Violation of constitutional rights
  • Insufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel
  • Jury or prosecutorial misconduct

Under Georgia law, a conviction can be appealed directly to the Georgia Court of Appeals. The Georgia Supreme Court, however, in criminal cases, only hears direct appeals for murder and felony murder. You must initiate the direct appeal within 30 days of the judgment entry date. Here’s a quick breakdown of the process:

  1. File a notice of appeal with the trial court.
  2. The trial court clerk prepares trial records and sends them to the appropriate appellate court.
  3. Draft and file the appellate brief to the Court of Appeals following the court’s rules and guidelines. The opposing party, appellee, may respond.
  4. The appellate court may schedule an oral argument for both sides to answer the judges’ questions.
  5. The court reviews the trial court records, briefs, and oral arguments to make a decision. The court may:
  • Affirm the trial court’s judgment
  • Reverse the trial court’s judgment
  • Remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings

Discretionary Appeal

Unlike direct appeals, discretionary appeals are not a right. They are pursued only with permission of the appellate court. An example of a discretionary appeal is an appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia, where a writ of certiorari must be obtained from the court. Appealing to the State Supreme Court may be the next step if the Court of Appeals denies your direct appeal. To qualify for a writ of certiorari, your case must demonstrate any of the following:

  • A constitutional question
  • A novel legal question
  • Conflicting decisions from lower courts
  • Cases involving a matter of great importance to the public

A petition for a writ of certiorari must be filed with the Supreme Court within 20 days of the Court of Appeals’ decision.

Writ of Habeas Corpus

A writ of habeas corpus is a petition to challenge the legality of your incarceration or other forms of restraint. Georgia law allows those under state custody to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus within four years of the denial of the direct appeal in felony cases or one year in misdemeanor cases.

A habeas corpus petition can be filed when the petitioner’s rights under the United States or Georgia Constitution are violated during the legal process. Such constitutional claims can include:

  • Ineffective assistance of counsel at the trial or appeal
  • Prosecutorial misconduct
  • Erroneous jury instructions
  • Speedy trial or due process violations
  • Actual innocence

Petitions for a writ of habeas corpus are filed with the county’s superior court where the petitioner is incarcerated. After the petition is filed, the judge will order your presence in court for a hearing. 

People in state custody can also seek a federal habeas corpus under section 2254. A 2254 habeas corpus petition allows those incarcerated or detained to challenge the legality of a state conviction and restraint in a federal court. This option is only available once you have exhausted all your state post-conviction habeas relief remedies.

Working with an experienced habeas corpus lawyer is crucial for your case’s outcome. They have the knowledge to make informed decisions and go through the process.

The Importance of Legal Representation

As you can see, the post-conviction relief process in Georgia can be complex and overwhelming. That is why having a knowledgeable and experienced attorney by your side is crucial during this time. Legal representation ensures that your rights are protected and increases your chances of success in seeking post-conviction relief remedies.

Here are some of the reasons why having an attorney is essential:

  • They have in-depth knowledge of the post-conviction relief options available to you and which fits your case best.
  • They can effectively navigate through complex legal procedures and deadlines.
  • They have access to resources, such as professionals, that can help build a strong case for your post-conviction relief motion.
  • They can thoroughly review your case and identify any legal errors or violations of your rights that can be used as grounds for relief.
  • They have experience presenting legal arguments and evidence to support your case in court.

Having a skilled attorney by your side during the post-conviction relief process can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. It is crucial to choose an attorney passionate about fighting for your rights and has a successful track record in handling post-conviction relief cases.

Get Legal Assistance From Conklin Law

A conviction doesn’t need to be the end of your case. Seek post-conviction relief with the help of an experienced attorney. You can rely on our attorney at Conklin Law to challenge your conviction and seek justice.

Our attorneys have the necessary skills to pursue your post-conviction relief effectively. We have helped hundreds across Georgia obtain favorable outcomes from the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

If you’re seeking a new trial, appeal, or habeas corpus, our appellate attorney may be able to help. Schedule your free consultation today.

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