Criminal Appeals Attorney In Tucson, Arizona
Even if you have pled guilty or been found guilty in a criminal case, your fight is not necessarily over. Once an Arizona jury or court renders a guilty verdict, you have the right to appeal the decision to a higher (appellate) court. If you pled guilty, you still have the right to ask for post-conviction relief.
An experienced criminal appeals attorney can win a fight that appears lost, helping to overturn a wrongful or improper conviction. Success at the appellate level depends not only on an extensive knowledge of the law, but also on a willingness to carefully examine your trial or plea record.
If you’re looking for an appeal or post-conviction relief, we’ll help you.
How We Handle Appeals
When your trial is over, you have the right to an appeal. An appeal is when you request a higher court to review your proceedings in the lower court to see if your rights were in some way violated. If they were, you may be able to secure a new trial or have your sentence reduced.
We handle all appeals, including:
- City court appeals
- Justice court appeals
- Superior court appeals
- Juvenile court appeals
- Federal district court appeals
- Appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court
Direct appeals can be filed immediately after the sentencing. We can review the record and establish any errors that may warrant a second look. Writs of Habeas Corpus are federal petitions that can explore the possibility that your constitutional rights were violated while you were detained or incarcerated. We can petition for one and send it to the appellate court, who will investigate the situation and determine if you’re eligible for relief or a reduced sentence. Some sentences can even be completely overturned, although that’s a rare outcome.
Fighting For Post-Conviction Relief
Post-conviction relief (abbreviated PCR) is important for people convicted of a crime when something surrounding that crime has drastically changed. It also works for people who believe their cases were grossly mishandled by their attorney. I help people seek post-conviction relief in a number of areas, including:
- Rule 32 post-conviction relief for felony and misdemeanor guilty pleas
- Arguments based on ineffective assistance of counsel
- Arguments based on newly discovered facts
- Attempts to withdraw from a guilty plea
- Juvenile expungement and record sealing
- Restoration of civil rights after both adult and juvenile delinquency convictions
I also offer capable, competent legal counsel in criminal appeals, including federal habeas corpus relief.
Using Rule 32 For Post-Conviction Relief
In Arizona, people convicted of crimes can use something called Rule 32 post-conviction relief within a limited timeframe after a conviction. A Rule 32 petition is a request that your conviction be reviewed for mistakes or errors. This is a valuable option for people who pled guilty or no contest, but it needs to be used immediately. If you wait for too long, your lawyer will not be able to successfully request Rule 32 relief. If you’d like to explore that option, you need to contact us immediately.
What To Do When There’s New Evidence
Sometimes, the prosecution doesn’t have the full story when you’re convicted of a crime. If new discoveries are made after your conviction, such as overlooked evidence or the involvement of another person who was previously not known to the prosecution, you may be able to get another chance.
It’s not unheard of for people to be released based on new facts in their case. DNA evidence and new witnesses are especially helpful in changing the outcome of a situation. But sometimes, all it takes is something small to call previous facts into question.
What To Do When Your Previous Representation Failed You
Unfortunately, plenty of people find themselves in hot water because their legal representation underperformed. Whether they were inexperienced, burned out, too overwhelmed with their other cases, or they plainly didn’t care about you, you might be entitled to another shot with a more competent attorney.
If your lawyer drastically mishandled your case, they can face significant repercussions. Negligent or incompetent lawyers can be reported to the bar association or to the supreme court, who will review your claims. Once they’ve been handled through the proper channels, allow us to represent you. We’re experienced in appeals and post-conviction relief, and we have the passion necessary to fight for you.
What To Do When You Want To Change Your Plea
A lot of people wind up with buyers’ remorse about a guilty plea. Maybe you didn’t understand the charges properly, you forgot about key pieces of evidence, or you felt pressured to plead guilty when you really didn’t need to.
It’s not as simple as loudly announcing that you’ve changed your mind. You can fight to change your plea, but you’ll need the help of a lawyer. Together, we can file a motion to vacate a guilty plea where not doing so will lead to a manifest injustice against you. The judge will consider the circumstances of the guilty plea when deciding if you’re eligible to withdraw from a guilty plea.
If you can legitimately claim innocence or your original plea deal seems unfair, you may be allowed to withdraw from the plea. The judge will also consider the laundry list of reasons why you might want to change your plea, and what affect that will have on the case.
An aggressive lawyer can help you prove that you deserve to be able to withdraw or modify your plea. If you made a mistake, we might be able to work with you and the court to correct it.
How To Clean Up Your Juvenile Criminal History
Not all juveniles who commit crimes will grow up to be unproductive members of society. Even great kids make mistakes at times. That’s why Arizona aims to rehabilitate and educate its youth. If you’re an adult with a juvenile record, we can help you have that record sealed. In some cases, existing charges can be reduced.
This is especially helpful for young people who have graduated and would like to attend college or pursue an internship. The record will be closed off, preventing future educators or employers from judging you based on your past mistakes.
Getting Your Civil Rights Back
In the state of Arizona, people with only one non-dangerous felony conviction can have most of their civil rights automatically restored upon completing the terms of their sentence. This means they’re off of probation and they’ve paid any restitution or fines they’ve been mandated to pay. The restored rights don’t include the right to own a weapon – this right has to be separately argued for restoration with the superior court in the county where the offense was committed.
With two or more felony convictions, the process becomes different. No civil rights are automatically restored. It can’t be rolled into a single process – each felony requires a separate application. This is a much more rigorous process, and you’re more likely to see the restoration of your civil rights when you’re working with an experienced attorney who understands how to fight for them.
Discuss Your Appeal With Us
You can call us today or use our easy contact form when you want to discuss appeals or post-conviction relief. Since many of these matters are time-sensitive, it’s best not to procrastinate. Some opportunities expire, and we need time to help you formulate the best plan for your circumstances. We’re ready to aggressively fight for you – you just need to tell us when to start.
You can also drop by and meet with us in person. My office is located right in downtown Tucson, near all the courts. We offer flexible free consultations, and jail consultations are available for a small fee.