Criminal cases can be lengthy and emotionally draining. It is essential to understand that even in the face of seeming defeat, you must keep fighting and never give up hope if your claims are meritorious. There is more than one way to attempt to get the relief that you seek if you have been wrongfully convicted of a crime. With that said, let's talk about post-conviction relief.
If you or a loved one has been convicted and sentenced in Louisiana and appealed your conviction and possibly your sentence to no avail, there may still be hope. Have you considered filing an application for post-conviction relief? If so, you should hire a Louisiana criminal defense attorney with experience handling post-conviction applications.
An "application for post-conviction relief" is actually a petition that can be filed by a person in custody after being sentenced following a conviction. The petition's purpose is to set the conviction and sentence aside. Notably, a post-conviction petition cannot be considered if the petitioner currently has an appeal pending or if the petitioner may appeal the conviction and sentence that the petitioner seeks to challenge. Thus, an application for post-conviction relief can only be pursued after a petitioner's appellate options have been exhausted or expired.
How Do I File a Post-Conviction Application?
As an initial matter, a post-conviction application must be made in writing. Any petitioner shall use the uniform application for post-conviction relief that the Supreme Court of Louisiana approves. The written application or petition must be addressed to the district court for the parish where the petitioner was convicted. In addition to the written petition, a copy of the judgment of conviction and sentence must be attached to the petition. If it is not, then the petition shall indicate that a copy has been demanded and refused.
What Does the Application Have to Say?
The Application must contain the following:
A. The name of the person in custody who is the petitioner. Also, it must identify the location and/or facility wherein the petitioner is in custody. If known, or if not known, the petition must contain a statement indicating that the location is unknown;
B. The name of the custodian, if known, or, if not known, a designation or description of him as far as possible;
C. A statement of the legal grounds upon which you seek relief that reasonably specifies the factual basis for such relief;
D. A statement that identifies all prior applications for writs of habeas corpus or for post-conviction relief that have been filed by or on behalf of the person in custody in connection with his present custody; and
E. An allegation of all errors known or discoverable by the exercise of due diligence.
Additionally, the application must be signed by the petitioner and also have his affidavit that the allegations contained in the petition are accurate to the best of his information and belief. Please keep in mind that the burden is on the petitioner to establish that relief should be granted.
Although we have discussed the process for beginning a post-conviction petition, we have barely scratched the surface of pursuing post-conviction relief. There are specific grounds for which you can seek post-conviction relief. There are time limitations and other factors of which to be aware. Thus, if you believe you or a loved one may need to seek post-conviction, you may benefit from guidance from a criminal defense attorney with experience in handling post-conviction applications.
Call a Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney Today
The Law Offices of Philip B. Adams are experienced criminal lawyers who litigate post-conviction applications. We are here to fight for you until the end. We handle criminal defense cases and have done so throughout the state of Louisiana for years.
To learn more about our Louisiana criminal defense services, we have an online submission form for your convenience. Fill it out today to set up a free consultation.