Despite what many people think, a plea or a conviction after a trial does not have to be the final word for those who have been convicted of a crime. Under California law, there are various routes to request that the court system take a second look at your case and alter the initial outcome. The law in this area can be complex and nuanced, so the help of a Berkeley post-conviction relief lawyer may be vital to your success. If you are interested in learning about your legal options, do not hesitate to speak with an experienced post-conviction relief defense attorney to secure an evaluation of your post-conviction relief options. En Español
After receiving a guilty verdict, many people feel that the system failed them. Those who served their sentences, completed court ordered supervision, and repaid their debt to society often suffer the weight of a criminal record impinging upon their ability to secure employment, housing, loans, and certain professional licenses. If these people do nothing, their criminal records will follow them forever, showing up in any background check that seeks such information.
California law provides individuals with the recourse to file motions and other applications to reduce charges, modify sentences, vacate convictions, receive certification of rehabilitation or receive other relief. However, applicants must act quickly. Most forms of post-conviction relief have a timeframe for filing and specific procedures and eligibility requirements. Attorneys familiar with Berkeley post-conviction relief proceedings may help individuals determine the best plan for moving forward and increasing their chances of success.
Immediately after sentencing, defendants can file various pleadings to challenge the results and the imposed punishments. California law provides a separate set of options for those who complete their sentence to help them start anew.
Appealing a guilty verdict or other order of the court under California Penal Code § 1237 may be the most commonly known method for challenging a court decision. While appealing is a viable option in many situations, first, filing a Motion for a New Trial under Cal. Penal Code § 1181 may benefit some defendants.
If granted, a new trial gives the suspect another opportunity to have a second chance at a “not guilty” verdict. A new trial also allows the accused the ability to introduce new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the first trial, which can be included in the record if an appeal is necessary. Without a new trial, the appellate court will decide the case based solely on the evidence presented during the first trial. Successful motions for a new trial tend to involve substantive errors made during the trial by the judge that significantly altered the outcome of the trial. If an individual experienced a trial where error occurred it is critical to move swiftly when pursuing relief by way of a motion for a new trial.
Other possible post conviction options include a Motion to Withdraw a Plea or Vacate (put aside) the judgment under Cal. Penal Code § 1018. This relief is based on the defendant’s lack of understanding of the deal they were accepting, coercion to accept the deal, being unrepresented or represented by an incompetent attorney, or a language barrier making it difficult to understanding the consequences.
Defendants may also request resentencing under Proposition 64 if the legislature downgraded the crime they committed from a felony to a misdemeanor or decriminalized it, as they did with specific marijuana offenses.
This is not an exhaustive list of post conviction relief options. There are several mechanisms for relief for incarcerated individuals as well such as Elder Parole, Writs of Habeas Corpus, Motions to Vacate and the list goes on. A Berkeley post conviction relief lawyer can take the time to review an extensive list of potential remedies and determine which options are available for your particular situation.
Many individuals who have been convicted of a crime wish to start with a clean slate, but it can be tough to do so with a criminal record. Under the right circumstances, people who have served their sentences and completed probation may file motions to dismiss their records under Cal. Penal Code § 1203.4. This is called an “expungement” however in California the expungement process does not erase a criminal conviction rather it is actually a motion to dismiss and it results in dismissal of the conviction pursuant to Penal Code § 1203.4. This relief is not available to individuals who served their time in state prison or were convicted of specified offenses – such as many sex offenses involving minors.
In cases where the individual went to prison or sex crime cases requiring sex offender registration, most individuals may apply for a certificate of rehabilitation as allowed under Cal. Penal Code § 4852.01. This type of relief requires a significant amount of time proving rehabilitation and residency. The applicant must reside for at least 5 years in the State of California after their release from parole and accumulate an additional two, four, or five years of a proven rehabilitation record to secure this relief. The court wants to see them for no less than seven years (depending on the crime) the individual has lived a moral and upright life in the community. For those convicted of sex crimes the minimum rehabilitation time is 10 years and they must show that they are not an ongoing threat to minors. There are several offenses that are excluded from this relief – a Berkeley post conviction relief lawyer can take you through the criteria and help you determine if you are eligible.
Other relief available to individuals who completed their sentences might include:
By consulting a highly experienced post-conviction relief lawyer, individuals in Berkeley and throughout the state of California can position themselves to select the best course of action for their circumstances.
Undoubtedly, a criminal conviction is scary and feels final. However, with the help of a seasoned Berkeley post-conviction relief lawyer, you may discover several avenues to either challenge your conviction or take steps to minimize the impact it has on your future. To start the evaluation process, please get in touch with our office today.
The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.
We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.
As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.
Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.
When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.
From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.
We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.
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Case Dismissed after Completion of Drug Court
All Charges Dismissed and Property Ordered to be Returned to Client
Deferred Entry of Judgment
Case Dismissed without Trial
Motion to Vacate Granted
Restraining Order Denied and Sealed
Both Cases Dismissed Prior to Trial
No Charges Filed
No Criminal Charges Filed & Detention
No Jail Time & No Sex Offender Registration
Pled to 1 Petty Misdemeanor and Not Required to Register as Sex Offender
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Thank you to my attorney Grace for all your help with my case. It took awhile but the outcome has made me so happy that I am able to move forward with my life and forget the past. Everyone at this law firm from the beginning to the end have been so helpful and supportive. I highly recommend The Nieves Law Firm!
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Thank you to the whole Nieves legal team, especially to my attorney, Mari Bowie, for being so supportive, helpful, and professional to me and my family in these hard times in my life. I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a law firm that actually looks at you as a human-being first and cares about your well-being. I appreciate all the support they’ve given and will go to them again if I ever need to down the road.
The Nieves Law Firm has an outstanding team of attorneys who are supportive and provide exceptional Client service. The founding attorney Jo-Anna, firmly stands on her mission and is backed by a team with expertise. You can trust you’ll be in good hands and that their team will give their absolute best to help you. If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney look no further they are knowledgeable and honestly the best to work with!