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Rule 32 – Post Conviction Relief

Rule 32 – Post Conviction Relief2018-05-07T05:46:31+00:00

RULE 32 – POST CONVICTION RELIEF

RULE 32 – POST CONVICTION RELIEF

Rule 32 – Post Conviction Relief. What’s a Rule 32 Petition For Post Conviction Relief? I would just like to say right at the outset that this is a very complex area of the law, so I am just going to cover some general things; so you have an overview of what we are talking about.

Rule 32 – Post Conviction Relief

Sometimes these are just referred to as a Rule 32, and sometimes they are referred to as a Petition For Post Conviction Relief. This can come up in one of two ways. First of all, it only comes up after you have been sentenced. When someone has been convicted of a crime and sentenced, and now we are into the appellate phase.

If you took a plea, like most people in the Criminal Justice System, then you waved your right to appeal. What that means is, you no longer have a right to appeal. The concept here is, when you take a plea, we’re killing this case, this ends it, that’s the concept. But, our Supreme Court has said, you can’t take away everything on the right to appeal.

Think about it like this, what happens if you take a plea and the plea says, you’re going to get guaranteed probation, and then the judge sends you to prison? Then you say wait a minute; my deal was for probation! Then the judge says, sorry but, you waved your right to appeal, you’re out of luck. That’s why there is a Rule 32 Petition For Post Conviction Relief.

Think of it as this little leftover section of your appellate rights that are non-waivable. It generally covers things like, my lawyer made a mistake. What if your lawyer promised you probation, guaranteed you probation and you still went to prison? That’s the kind of thing that you can still raise in a Rule 32.

Rule 32 - Post Conviction Relief

Rule 32 – Post Conviction Relief

Also, newly discovered evidence, something that had recently come up that there is no way you could have possibly learned about; even if you had done everything possible back when you were at the trial level, AND it makes a difference to your case. That’s the kind of thing that can be raised in a Rule 32, or say the law changes, and you were convicted of something that is no longer illegal. Rule 32 Petition For Post Conviction Relief. That’s the vehicle for you to bring that forward.

In addition, one thing that is very different about a Rule 32 Petition For Post Conviction Relief vs. a regular appeal is, the regular appeal goes to the appellate court; and it’s generally limited to what’s on the record, what’s been said in court, what exhibits have been offered, things that are on the record, there is a transcript.

A Rule 32 goes to the trial judge. Because you may have to develop a record. Take the example I just gave about the attorney promised me probation. That’s not in the record. So, the trial judge has an opportunity in a Rule 32 proceeding, to have a hearing. So, you can come in and say, “hey my lawyer promised me this and that, and my mom was there, and she heard the same thing.” Maybe the lawyer gets on the stand and says, “yeah, I kind of thought he was going to get probation, and I told him that, or no I didn’t say that.”

Rule 32 – Post Conviction Relief

But you can develop a record, and then the trial judge has an opportunity to rule on that Petition for Post Conviction Relief. Also, if you lose, you can also appeal that, even though you have waived your right to appeal; you can still appeal the Rule 32 Petition For Post Conviction Relief denial at the trial level and get to the appellate court and this is very common.

Another way you can get to a Rule 32 is if you went to trial, you lost, and you didn’t waive your right to an appeal, but you have exhausted your appeal. You’ve gone to the Court of Appeals, you’ve gone to the Supreme Court, and you may have even gone to the Federal Court, and all of that was denied. You still have a right to a Rule 32; you can always have a right to a Rule 32, so long as you have grounds to bring it.

Generally, they’re limited; it can be 90 days from the time you’re sentenced or it the case of newly discovered evidence, you have to bring it promptly, as soon as you discover that evidence. But you have a right to bring a Rule 32 after you lost your appeal, no matter how long that appeal takes. There are still time limits that apply, so you need to contact a lawyer. Because if you miss that time limit, you’re out on the Rule 32.

If you would like to find out more about a Rule 32 Petition For Post Conviction Relief, please contact us at The Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm.

Rule 32 – Post Conviction Relief


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