Post Conviction Relief Indiana

Indiana Post-Conviction Relief Lawyer

For a criminal defendant, a guilty verdict or sentencing does not mean the end of the case. Lipinski Law is an Indianapolis criminal defense law firm that knows which legal options are still available. This is why the firm’s lawyers continue to provide high-quality criminal defense after sentencing.

Arie Lipinski, a highly-respected Indiana criminal defense attorney, knows that superior representation is just as important in post-conviction proceedings as it was in the underlying criminal case.

An attorney who is experienced in criminal law will have the best chance of winning post-conviction proceedings. They also need attorneys who can quickly, competently, and thoroughly navigate the murky waters of post-conviction proceedings. Contact Lipinski Law today (317) 605-9223.

Indiana Post-Conviction Relief Explained

An inmate who is convicted of a crime has very few options to appeal a sentence or conviction. A direct appeal is the most common, but post-conviction relief can be an option. Post-conviction relief, a legal process that combines criminal and civil law elements and is complex in nature, challenges the legitimacy of certain aspects of criminal trials or sentencing. To ensure that the challenge is met with the greatest success, it is important to work with an Indianapolis post-conviction relief attorney with experience in post-conviction law.

What Exactly is Indiana Post-Conviction Relief?

A criminal defendant may seek post-conviction relief if they challenge the legality of a portion of the criminal trial, the conviction, or the sentence on legal grounds that are not available in the original trial or indirect appeal. This is not an opportunity to appeal the verdict. In fact, the defendant may or may not have made a direct appeal before seeking post-conviction relief.

Direct appeal and post-conviction relief are similar because a criminal defendant can assert multiple grounds for relief. They differ in their timing: whereas a petition for post-conviction relief does not have a deadline, the law has a deadline to file a direct appeal.

All grounds for post-conviction relief involve the claim that an element or decision of the underlying proceeding is illegal or unconstitutional. The Indiana post-conviction rules provide many of the possible grounds for Indiana post-conviction relief, which are:

  • The sentence or conviction was not in accordance with Indiana’s laws.
  • The sentencing court lacked proper jurisdiction.
  • In some other way, the sentence was incorrect. For example, it exceeded the legal length allowed by Indiana state law.
  • There is significant evidence that has not been presented or heard before, and this evidence must be used to overturn the sentence or conviction.
  • The sentence has expired, or the defendant’s probation, parole, and conditional release were illegally revoked.
  • Another material legal error related to the sentence or conviction has occurred. This could include juror bias, perjury or DNA exclusion, or Ineffective assistance of counsel.

Defendants must strictly adhere to post-conviction relief rules in Indiana, or they risk losing the chance to obtain post-conviction relief. It can be difficult to succeed in a post-conviction proceeding without a good criminal defense attorney.

Indiana Post-Conviction Relief Is Complicated

A petition for post-conviction relief is the document that initiates post-conviction proceedings. The Indiana Judicial Branch has samples forms to help you request post-conviction relief. However, it is possible to lose your right to seek relief if you make small mistakes filling out or filing the forms.

Not only must you complete the forms correctly, but it can also impact whether the court will review your claims. These are some of the filing requirements:

  • The petition must be filed before the court that entered the judgment of conviction, not the appeals court.
  • The petitioner must file three copies.
  • All claims for relief must be included in one petition. Failure to include a claim could result in the loss of the right to make such claims later.

It is important to seek the assistance of an Indianapolis attorney experienced in post-conviction law. They will be able to tell you what to do and how to file for post-conviction relief in Indiana.

You must also provide the court with relevant criminal case documentation when preparing a petition for post-conviction relief. A petitioner seeking post-conviction relief should, at minimum, collect and provide the following information:

  • Information about the charging and any related filings
  • Evidence and discovery from the criminal trial
  • Motions and resulting orders of the criminal trial
  • Official transcript of the criminal trial
  • All relevant documentation from appeals is required if post-conviction relief relies on an element that is a direct appeal.
  • Documentation of any events in criminal cases after trial

These documents are expensive, time-consuming, and require special filings. Many criminal defendants lack the skills to comprehend the requirements and write the proper requests for post-conviction documentation.

Post-conviction relief petitioners must show that either they or their criminal defense lawyer asserted the basis for relief and that this occurred at trial or in another relevant proceeding. This proves that the defendant “preserved” the error for review as a basis for post-conviction relief.

The criminal defendant who fails to preserve the issue in the trial court or appeal the issue is waived unless the petitioner can prove that ineffective counsel was the reason for the lack of preservation.

A skilled post-conviction lawyer in Indiana can assist you in the process of determining which grounds are appropriate to invoke in a petition for relief from a conviction.

The court can set the matter for hearing or not after the petition for post-conviction relief. The petitioner and the state can request a summary disposition. This is when the court decides without holding a hearing, based solely on the evidence and arguments submitted. A hearing is when a judge hears the evidence and decides if relief should be granted. In both cases, the petitioner must prove grounds for relief using a preponderance of the evidence.

Successive Post-Conviction Relief Petition

Although post-conviction relief can be obtained, it is not common to obtain relief under a second or subsequent post-conviction petition. Even if the original petition is dismissed on technical grounds, an accused cannot file another petition. A subsequent petition for post-conviction relief must not waiver the original post-conviction petition, which must state all claims. 

A criminal defendant must be granted permission to file another petition for post-conviction relief. A petitioner could claim that an attorney filed the previous petition for post-conviction relief and that this attorney rendered ineffective counsel by leaving out one or more grounds for relief. If the Indiana Court of Appeals finds that the circumstances warrant it, the court may grant permission to file a subsequent post-conviction petition.

Habeas Corpus Proceedings

Habeas Corpus proceedings refer to civil actions that are independent of but connected with underlying federal or state criminal litigation. They cannot be filed to challenge a conviction or sentence, as in a petition seeking post-conviction relief. Indiana habeas corpus petitions, however, are filed in the county where the incarceration is located and seek to be released from illegal custody.

Habeas corpus relief covers federal violations and claims that should have been known or evidence found after post-conviction relief. Indiana Code 34-25.5-1-1, et seq. provides the procedure for seeking relief from detention that is not covered by Indiana’s post-conviction proceedings.

Federal law also contains habeas corpus statutes

  • 28 U.S.C. SS 2254, the collateral review statute for state prisoners
  • 28 U.S.C. SS 2255 is the equivalent federal prisoner’s version
  • 28 U.S.C. SS 2241 for habeas petitions concerning the loss of good credit in prison disciplinary proceedings

Federal courts often offer online access to habeas Corpus forms for habeas relief. However, like post-conviction relief forms and habeas corpus claims, habeas corpus claims must be carefully written to avoid any waiver of the right to review the claims and to determine them. It is important to have the help of criminal defense lawyers in Indiana who are familiar with habeas-corpus claims and processes, such as those at Lipinski Law.

Get Your Indiana Post-Conviction Relief at Lipinski Law

It can be difficult to seek Indiana post-conviction relief. The court can reject a petition that does not comply with the rules of filing. A skilled attorney can help you get your petition reviewed by court officials and increase your chances of success.

Lipinski Law can provide you with the support you need to ensure that your Indianapolis post-conviction relief is successful. He also an experienced Indiana sentence modification attorney and he is one of the best Indianapolis expungement lawyers in the state.

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