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520-623-4625

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Questions & Answers

Question: What is Post conviction Relief? How long does the procedure take? Can it overturned someone's conviction?

Answer: Because of the sensitivity of time limits in post conviction relief proceedings and the complexity of the process, you may want to contact an attorney. An attorney can clarify which claims for relief and supports the court may consider in a post-conviction relief proceeding, explain the courts’ interpretations of the rules, and provide advice about relevant caselaw. To find an attorney you may want to look at some of the resources available through the organizations list on this website. Additionlly, you may want to contact the Maricopa County Lawyer Referral Line, the Pima County Law Referral Line or the State Bar of Arizona Find a Lawyer Website to see if an attorney can help you.

The right to post-conviction relief (PCR) is the right of a person (defendant) convicted of a crime to have his or her criminal conviction or sentence reviewed by a court for errors or mistakes. Sometimes post-conviction relief proceedings are called “Rule 32 Proceedings,” this is just another name for the proceeding that come from the number of the rule in the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure that details the process. The right to post-conviction relief has time limits. The time requirements must be followed. Failure to follow the rules may result in giving up the right to have the court review the case. Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 32.4. Look at Rule 32 in the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure for more information on Post Relief Conviction and its time limits.

Also, the right to an appeal is available to a person convicted of a crime at trial. This means the right to have a higher court than the trial court, review the case for errors or mistakes. An appellate court has the authority to reverse, affirm, or modify the action of a lower court and issue orders that it finds necessary and appropriate. There is no right to appeal for a defendant who pleads guilty or no contest to a crime. No right to appeal means the person does not have the right to have a higher court review the case. Rather, that person has a limited right to post-conviction relief. See Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 32.2. This right to post-conviction relief is the right to have the court in which the defendant pled guilty or no contest, or the sentencing court, review the case. These post-conviction relief proceedings are known as “of-right” proceedings.

May 12, 2008