Once your appellate rights are exhausted, it may seem as though all hope is lost. However, there is yet another way to challenge your conviction.
The next step is Post-Conviction Relief or PCR.
In a PCR petition, you may raise new claims that were not available to you on direct appeal. A PCR lawyer must have a strong understanding of the processes associated with a PCR. Our team has experience on both sides of the aisle — as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. Our team knows how to conduct an effective investigation in support of your PCR relief proceeding.
What are the Grounds for Post-Conviction Relief?
There are several situations that may prompt the need for post-conviction relief efforts. In Alaska, they include but are not limited to:
(1) that the conviction or the sentence was in violation of the Constitution of the United States or the constitution or laws of this state;
(2) that the court was without jurisdiction to impose sentence;
(3) that a prior conviction has been set aside and the prior conviction was used as a statutorily required enhancement of the sentence imposed;
(4) that there exists evidence of material facts, not previously presented and heard by the court, that requires vacation of the conviction or sentence in the interest of justice;
(5) that the person’s sentence has expired, or the person’s probation, parole, or conditional release has been unlawfully revoked, or the person is otherwise unlawfully held in custody or other restraint;
(6) that the conviction or sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack upon any ground or alleged error previously available under the common law, statutory law, or other writ, motion, petition, proceeding, or remedy;
(7) that (A) there has been a significant change in law, whether substantive or procedural, applied in the process leading to the person’s conviction or sentence; (B) the change in the law was not reasonably foreseeable by a judge or a competent attorney; (C) it is appropriate to retroactively apply the change in law because the change requires observance of procedures without which the likelihood of an accurate conviction is seriously diminished; and (D) the failure to retroactively apply the change in law would result in a fundamental miscarriage of justice, which is established by demonstrating that, had the changed law been in effect at the time of the applicant’s trial, a reasonable trier of fact would have a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the applicant;
(8) that after the imposition of sentence, the applicant seeks to withdraw a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in order to correct manifest injustice under the Alaska Rules of Criminal Procedure; or
(9) that the applicant was not afforded effective assistance of counsel at trial or on direct appeal.