In many cases the client's need for legal assistance does not end
with the entry of a verdict. There are many needs that a client
can have following conviction or the entry of a plea. The stakes
are just as high in post conviction practice. This page will
discuss representation in the District Court following a conviction.
A discussion on appellate practice is located here.
POST CONVICTION RELIEF
Just because the verdict is
in and the court has ruled against you, doesn't mean that all is lost.
Even if you have not filed an appeal or if the time for an appeal has
long passed, you may still be entitled to post conviction relief.
law allows any person who has been
convicted of, or sentenced for, a crime to seek post conviction relief
if they can show:
(a) that the conviction or the sentence
was in violation of the Constitution of the United States or the
Constitution or laws of this state;
(b) that the court was without
jurisdiction to impose sentence;
(c) that the sentence exceeds the
maximum authorized by law;
(d) that there exists evidence of
material facts, not previously presented and heard, that requires
vacation of the conviction or sentence in the interest of justice;
(e) that his sentence has expired, his
suspended sentence, probation, parole, or conditional release unlawfully
revoked, or he is otherwise unlawfully held in custody or other
(f) that the conviction or sentence is
otherwise subject to collateral attack upon any ground of alleged error
heretofore available under any common law, statutory or other writ,
motion, petition, proceeding or remedy;
This application is filed in
the district court imposing the sentence. Anything not raised in
the motion is waived so it is critical that you be represented by an
attorney that will carefully examine your case and identify all of the
issues that need to be presented to the court.
Contact John Dunn now to discuss your case.
MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL
Occasionally, the correct
remedy is a Motion for New Trial. There are very limited
circumstances where this remedy will be permitted by the Court.
(a) When the trial has been in his absence, if the charge is for a
(b) When the jury have received any evidence out of court, other than
that resulting from a view of the premises.
(c) When the jury have separated without leave of the court, after
retiring to deliberate on their verdict, and before delivering or
sealing the same, if it be sealed, or have been guilty of any misconduct
by which a fair and due consideration of the case has been prevented.
(d) When the verdict has been decided by lot, or by any means other
than a fair expression of opinion on the part of the jury.
(e) When the court has misdirected the jury in a matter of law, or
has erred in the decision of any question of law arising during the
course of the trial.
(f) When the verdict is contrary to law or evidence.
(g) When new evidence is discovered, material to the defendant, and
which he could not with reasonable diligence have discovered before the
trial, or when it can be shown that the grand jury was not drawn
summoned or impaneled as provided by law, and that the facts in relation
thereto were unknown to the defendant or his attorney until after the
trial jury in the case was sworn and were not of record. When a motion
for a new trial is made on the ground of newly discovered evidence, the
defendant must produce at the hearing in support thereof affidavits of
witnesses, or he may take testimony in support thereof as provided in
Section 5781, and if time is required by the defendant to procure such
affidavits or testimony, the court may postpone the hearing of the
motion for such length of time as under all the circumstances of the
case may seem reasonable. The application for a new trial on the ground
that the grand jury was not drawn summoned or impaneled as provided by
law may be shown in like manner.
The time to seek this relief is severely limited. This
motion should be filed before the court enters the judgment and
sentence. If the court finds "good cause" the motion will
be allowed up to 30 days after judgment. If the application is
based on new evidence, you have no more than 3 months from the date of
the discovery of evidence and in no event longer than one year from the
date of the judgment being entered to file the application. If you
think you may qualify for this kind of relief, it is important to
contact John Dunn before any more time
Not all criminal cases that
are resolved in favor of the state result in the defendant going top
jail. In fact, many defendants find themselves on probation as a
part of their sentence. Unfortunately, some of these defendants
are not able to successfully complete probation and find that a the
state has filed a motion to revoke their probation and that a warrant
has been issued for their arrest.
When this happens the freedom
of the defendant are at stake. The defendant will appear in court
to answer for the alleged violations. At this point, it is
important to very recall that the defendant has already been found
guilty of the original crime. If the finds that defendant has
violated the terms of his probation, the court can sentence the
defendant to serve the full amount of the term of probation in prison.
When you are facing this kind
of action, the threat is very real. You need a criminal defense
attorney that will aggressively represent your interests.
Contact John Dunn right now to discuss your