POST-CONVICTION RELIEF

Post-conviction relief is a broad term for appealing a criminal conviction. It refers to a variety of methods including but not limited to appeals to higher courts, expungements, motions for new trial, requests to modify a sentence, requests for clemency and medical reprieve, petitions for release from a first-offender probationary sentence, and habeas corpus actions. Depending on the circumstances of the conviction and the reasons for appealing it, some of these methods will be more effective than others. For this reason, along with the fact that post-conviction relief is a complex, uphill battle, call Rachel Kaufman today. She will use her skill, knowledge, and creativity to put you in the best position to be granted the post-conviction relief you seek. 

See below for more information about the different types of post-conviction relief:

HABEAS CORPUS

A Writ of Habeas Corpus is a historic right afforded to individuals in the United States who seek to contest the constitutionality of their incarceration. Because a Writ of Habeas Corpus is a civil proceeding, the petition is brought against either the warden or sheriff where the individual is incarcerated. At a hearing, the warden or sherriff would have to bring forth evidence showing that the individual's incarceration is lawful. The basis for Habeas actions vary from individual to individual but actions are often brought based on alleged constitutional violations at the trial court level. 

Usually, a Habeas action is filed after an individual exhausts all other appellate options (ex. direct appeal). In felony cases, individuals have four years from the date of the conviction to bring a Habeas action and file it with the jurisdiction where the individual is incarcerated. 

APPEALS

After an individual is convicted at trial, that individual can appeal their conviction, arguing that defense counsel, the judge, and/or the prosecutor committed numerous legal errors during trial. Examples of errors include improperly admitted evidence, ineffective assistance of counsel, improper jury selection, illegal sentencing, and prosecutorial misconduct to name a few.

On appeal, attorneys submit appellate briefs, enumerating the errors committed at the trial level and providing legal support for reversal of the conviction based on each error. The Court may hear oral arguments on the case, as well. 

On appeal, the convicted individual no longer enjoys the presumption of innocence and the appellate court views the evidence in favor of the guilty verdict. They only considere evidence available to the trial court and they only consider objections and issued raised during trial. Given the discretion allotted to the guilty verdict, appeals are uphill battles that require a great deal of legal writing, legal research, and creativity. Call Rachel Kaufman law today to discuss appeals.

PAROLE

In Georgia, felony offenders are often eligible for parole after serving one-third of their sentence. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles is a five-member panel charged with making parole decisions. Parole decisions are reached when the majority of the Board agrees whether or not to parole the offender.  While parole eligibility is controlled by Georgia statute, parole is not a right and the Board maintains ultimate discretion over the decision. 

Because Board Members review hundreds of parole cases each day, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who knows what information the Board wants to see prior to an offender's release on parole. Call Rachel Kaufman Law today for help with an offender's case for parole. 

SENTENCE MODIFICATIONS

When a person is sentenced to punishment following a criminal conviction, the court retains jurisdiction over the case to modify the sentence, re-sentence, or terminate the sentence. For example, after an individual has completed all of the substantive terms of their probation, motions can be filed to request the termination of the probation. By doing so, the court will set a hearing date and consider evidence presented by the defense to show the completion of probation terms. If you are in this position and would like to consider requesting that probation terminate or go non-reporting, call Rachel Kaufman at (404) 615-7588 today!

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