Post Conviction Relief Process in Arizona
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Want to file a Post Conviction Relief Petition in Arizona? We’re here to help you through the PCR process. Watch the short video below as David explains Post Conviction Relief in Arizona and please contact us if we can provide you with further assistance in dealing with Post Conviction Relief Petitions (PCR) in Arizona.
When Can I File a Post Conviction Relief Petition (PCR)?
If a Defendant feels that he had ineffective assistance of counsel (this usually occurs with public defender cases); newly discovered evidence has been found that supports his innocence; or there has been a substantive change in the law, then he can file a “Post Conviction Relief Petition” (PCR). The rules state that a Defendant has ninety (90) days from the date of “Sentencing” or thirty (30) days from the date of the last (final) appeal, to file a Post Conviction Relief Petition. If newly discovered evidence has been found, then a PCR can be filed any time. These are normally conducted on felony cases where people are serving long prison sentences. However, some people file a PCR even when they serve no prison time, to simply have this black mark removed from their record.
Post Conviction Relief Petitions: Most Common Reasons in Arizona
The most common PCRs which are filed are for “Ineffective Assistance of Counsel”. The standard of the law is set forth in the Strickland / Nash cases. Basically, if there was “no meaningful adversarial testing” undertaken by the original attorney, then the conviction should be reversed. In addition, if the attorney did not interview any witnesses, or failed to interview key witnesses and failed to present necessary expert witnesses, this can also result in a reversal of the conviction. Once the conviction is reversed, then all of the original charges will be reinstated and either the case can be resolved by a new, lower, plea agreement, a complete dismissal, or proceed to Trial again on the original charges.
BEWARE: It is possible to reverse a conviction, proceed to Trial and be reconvicted, and then receive a Sentence which is much greater than the original Sentence. This is rare, but it does happen.
Although the Rules state that a Defendant only has ninety (90) days from the date of Sentencing, most Courts will allow a Petition to be filed at a much later date due to the fact that many Defendants did not know they truly had a right to file a Post Conviction Relief Petition. In fact, our Firm undertook a case in which the Defendant was seventeen (17) years into a thirty-five (35) year sentence, and we filed the PCR and had the conviction reversed. The State never refiled charges and he was set free.
It is important to hire an AV® rated law firm (the highest possible rating by Martindale Hubbell®). Also David Michael Cantor is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. In addition, the Firm and all of its lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. At DM Cantor, the majority of our Attorneys are ex-Prosecutors, and all of our Arizona Appeals Attorneys know the system well. For a free initial consultation, call us at 602-307-0808.
Contact DM Cantor and speak to our Post Conviction Relief Attorneys about your case. We will be happy to provide you with a Post Conviction Relief Attorney if you choose to go that route.