If you’ve been sentenced to serve jail time, the primary benefit of having a conviction removed would be to regain your freedom. But the intangible benefits of a cancelling a felony conviction include restoring the ability to vote; to serve on a jury; to own and use firearms; to apply for jobs without having to disclose a prior conviction; to be eligible to obtain many professional licenses; to be a notary.
One of the most commonly used approaches for removing convictions is to file and application for a writ of habeas corpus. Habeas corpus is a legal recourse that asks for a court appearance to address unlawful detention or imprisonment. It can be filed after a conviction or an appeal, and the legal basis is commonly constitutionally related, such as ineffective legal representation. Failure to interview witnesses, failure to file critical motions, failure to thoroughly investigate and failure to object to inadmissible evidence are all examples of ineffective assistance of counsel.
In many jurisdictions, a plea of guilty will negate the right of the defendant to later pursue post-conviction relief. And depending on the jurisdiction, there are different time limits within which a defendant must file for post-conviction relief, as well as broader or narrower grounds for bringing an application of writ of habeas corpus.
Navigating this complex and arcane process is challenging at best. It’s critical that the defendant hire legal representation with the knowledge, experience, and confidence to explore every possible angle in pursuit of clemency.
Breen & Pugh Law has a dedicated team of lawyers with proven success achieving positive outcomes in hundreds of post-conviction cases. We understand the stakes are high, and we’re there with you every step of the way.