Options For Arizona Defendants Who Have Been Denied Post-Conviction Relief

CourthouseThis is the next post in my series on requesting post-conviction relief in Arizona. My last article focused on the process one faces when filing a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus in Phoenix or elsewhere in our state. It is important to understand that the process is highly time-sensitive and missing a deadline can cost a defendant their opportunity for relief. In this article I will discuss the options for one who has had a Petition denied by the Superior Court.

Arizona defendants who have had their habeas petition denied may appeal the decision

Arizona defendants have options after the Superior Court has denied their Petition for Post Conviction Relief. The denial may be appealed through our state’s Appellate Courts. This process proceeds in the same manner as any other criminal appeal. An opening brief is filed with the Court, the State will file an opposition brief, and a reply will be filed on your behalf. In rare circumstances the Arizona Supreme Court will require oral argument should the case require it. It is important to understand, however, that if issues were not raised in the initial Rule 32 Petition then they may not be raised on appeal. This is one reason why hiring the right attorney, to handle your initial Petition, is crucial; if the attorney filing the initial Petition fails to include vital issues then they may not be raised later.

If one’s state appeal is denied then they still have the possibility of being granted a Writ of Habeas Corpus. After the defendant’s state court remedies have been exhausted (meaning the State Court appeal has been denied) then the defendant may file for relief in the Federal District Court of Arizona. A Federal Habeas Corpus Petition claims that one’s federal rights were violated during the State Court Process. As with State Court, if one’s initial federal Petition is denied then they may appeal the decision to the Ninth Circuit. It is crucial that you hire an attorney familiar with this process.

Our Phoenix criminal defense lawyer handles post-conviction relief cases in both state and Federal Court

It is important for a defendant’s post-conviction case that they select an attorney who can competently handle their case at the beginning and see it through to the end. This ensures that all issues are properly raised and that a consistent plan is followed throughout. Many lawyers are not licenses in Federal Court and even fewer are licenses in the Ninth Circuit so it is important that you select counsel who can handle each aspect of your case.

I handle cases in the Maricopa County Superior Court, elsewhere in Arizona, and in both Federal Court and the Ninth Circuit. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation.  In addition to Phoenix, I represent defendants in other Maricopa County cities such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert. We also assist Pima County residents in Tucson and others throughout the state.

Author: Bretton Barber

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