Northwest Indiana Appeal and Post Conviction Lawyer
Stracci Law Group has successfully handled hundreds of post-conviction proceedings, from direct appeals in murder cases to petitions for post-conviction relief to sentence modifications.
Our post-conviction attorneys understand how the criminal system works, and we can help you secure a favorable outcome. We serve clients in Crown Point, Hammond, Gary, Portage, Merrillville, Valparaiso, and elsewhere in Northwest Indiana.
What Happens After You’ve Been Convicted?
If you were convicted in a city or town court, your only remedy is to seek a new trial in a circuit or superior court . If you were convicted in an Indiana circuit or superior court, then depending on the circumstances, you might have the right to (i) appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals, (ii) file a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief (PCR), or (iii) seek modification of your sentence .
The Court of Appeals will not retry your case. Instead, appeals deal entirely with whether there was error. The prosecutor erred by using dirty tricks. The court erred in admitting certain evidence at trial. We have found many ways to argue issues on our client's behalf even when they didn't object at trial.
How We Help With Post-Conviction Appeals
Appeals must be filed within 30 days of sentencing so that trial records can be prepared. At Stracci Law Group, our post conviction appeal attorneys move quickly to craft arguments that give you the best chance of success on appeal. We then draft those arguments into a high-quality, collaborative brief for filing.
Post-conviction relief is a process by which a criminal defendant challenges aspects of their trial, conviction, or sentence on legal grounds that were unavailable during the original trial or appeals. Unlike an ordinary appeal, post-conviction relief is not subject to the same strict filing deadlines as typical appeals. You can file for post-conviction relief even if you never appealed your original conviction.
Grounds For Post Conviction Relief
Indiana post-conviction rules allow you to challenge a conviction under the following circumstances, including but not limited to:
- You were convicted under an unconstitutional law;
- The prosecutor made an error that was so serious, you would not have pled guilty if you had known about it;
- New evidence has been discovered;
- The court lacked the jurisdiction to hear your case;
- The law has changed, and you are entitled to retroactive relief;
- Your sentence exceeds the maximum penalty;
- Ineffective assistance of counsel (your attorney failed to object to a serious error at trial, for example);
- Juror bias or perjury;
- The prosecution suppressed evidence;
- Your trial was fundamentally unfair.
Time Limitations for Appealing or Seeking Post Conviction Relief
Under the Indiana rules of procedure, you must file a direct appeal, if at all, within 30 days of your conviction.If you do file an appeal, additional deadlines for preparing transcripts, writing briefs, and, if necessary, petitioning to transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court will follow. . You can petition for post-conviction relief at any time, but it can be denied if you wait too long after discovering the error.
Process For Post Conviction Relief In Indiana
Petitions for Post-Conviction Relief are the only post-conviction and post-appeal remedy in Indiana. You can only file one petition without permission of the Court of Appeals.
Filing a Timely Petition For Merit
The first step is to file a timely petition for post-conviction relief. You can file a petition for post-conviction relief at any time. However, if you wait so long that the State cannot retry the case, your petition may be denied even though there was error.
Substantive Review Of The Claim
In the second stage, the judge will determine whether your petition has merit based on the law as applied to the facts of your case. The State of Indiana has the right to oppose your petition. The judge has the discretion to schedule a hearing or grant a motion to proceed by written argument.
If the judge schedules a hearing, both you and the State of Indiana will have the chance to present your case. The judge will determine the disposition of your claim--to grant it or to deny it. You have the burden of proving your case by a preponderance of the evidence.
How Our Lawyers Help With Appeal and Post Conviction Proceedings
At Stracci Law Group, we can help you obtain post-conviction relief by carefully examining every detail of your case to find errors that we can use as the basis for your petition. We will uncover all issues and avenues for relief on appeal and in a petition for post-conviction relief. We will even appeal the denial of your PCR if necessary.
Post Conviction Relief Remedies
Winning on post-conviction relief can mean:
- A new trial;
- A new appeal;
- Sentence reduction including release from prison.
Which form or forms of post-conviction relief you win will depend on why you were convicted in the first place as well as your grounds for post-conviction relief.
Sometimes no amount of errors can convince the court to give you a new trial. In such cases, sentence modification is an option.
A compelling story improves the chances of sentence modification. Were you sentenced under a harsh prior law that has been repealed? Have you gone above and beyond the normal rehabilitation process while in the DOC, for example? Is your family experiencing an unexpected hardship as a result of your sentence? Our team works with you to craft the best story with the best presentation to obtain a sentence modification.
Why Choose Stracci Law Group For Post-Conviction In Northwest Indiana?
Stracci Law Group offers you the following critical advantages:
- A free initial consultation;
- A clear, no-nonsense assessment of your chances of victory;
- The assistance of a team of attorneys with a successful track record in obtaining post-conviction relief for our clients;
Meet Our Skilled Post-Conviction Lawyers
Paul G. Stracci
Our firm’s founder, with decades of criminal defense experience. Paul will directly supervise our team.
Peter J. Fouts
Peter J. Fouts is a renowned criminal trial attorney with extensive experience in both Indianapolis and Northwest Indiana courts.
Maryam Ashfar-Stewart has successfully defended hundreds of people charged with both misdemeanors and felonies.
Alison L. Benjamin
Alison L. Benjamin has experience working with a prosecutor’s office, which offers unique value to her criminal defendant clients. She defends against both federal and state prosecutions.
J. Michael Woods
J. Michael Woods has handled thousands of criminal prosecutions, from traffic tickets to homicides. He also handles criminal appeals and has argued before the Indiana Supreme Court.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Criminal Defensce Attorney
If you have been convicted and sentenced for a crime, this doesn’t have to be the end of your fight. Even if you have exhausted your appeals, a post-conviction release may be possible. At Stracci Law Group, we are well experienced with post-conviction relief or sentence modification in Northwest Indiana. Call us at (219) 525-1000 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Stracci Law Group serves Crown Point [46307, 46308], Hammond [46320, 46323, 46324, 46327], Gary [46402, 46404, 46405, 46406], and other towns in Northwest Indiana.