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Continuing to Fight After You Have Been Convicted

Posted on in Cook County criminal attorney

post-conviction, appeals, Cook County criminal defense attorneyFor some criminal defendants, their cases are not over once they have been convicted. The U.S. and Illinois Constitutions have many safeguards in place to prevent wrongfully convicted people from remaining locked up. However, it often takes a skilled lawyer to help navigate all of the rules and procedures that govern post-conviction relief.

What Happens Once You Have Been Convicted?

In a criminal case, once you have been convicted, you will be sentenced. In some cases, you are able to remain free on bond waiting for your sentencing hearing. In others, you may be taken into custody and begin serving time while you wait for your formal sentencing hearing.

After you have been convicted you typically have 30 days to file an appeal of your conviction. If you entered a guilty plea, you only have 30 days to withdraw your plea. If you successfully withdraw your plea, your case is far from over. Instead, it will essentially start all over again. This time your case will be on track for a trial.

If it has been more than 30 days since your conviction or you have exhausted your appeals, you may have other options under Illinois law to challenge your conviction.

Post-Conviction Petitions

If you were convicted of a state crime in Illinois, you have three different types of petitions you can file after you have been convicted:

  1. Post-Conviction Petition
  2. Petition for Actual Innocence
  3. Writ of Habeas Corpus

A post-conviction petition is used to claim that the conviction was a result of the violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. The defendant may argue their attorney was so incompetent that the conviction was a violation of the right to due process. Other types of claims include the prosecutor’s office improperly withholding evidence that may lead to a not-guilty verdict.

A petition for actual innocence is used to demonstrate that new scientific evidence shows the defendant did not or could not have committed the crime for which he or she has been convicted. This is usually DNA evidence.

A writ of habeas corpus is a special type of petition that is protected under the U.S. Constitution. It is filed in federal court and is used when a defendant is alleging he or she is being held illegally. This can be because of a constitutional defect in the conviction process or because the defendant is being held after he or she should have been released.

Have you or a loved one been convicted of a crime? If you have any questions about post-conviction appeals or petitions you need to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable Schaumburg criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C., today to schedule a consultation. Your window of opportunity may be closing, so it is critical to get the process started immediately.



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