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Law & Schriener, LLC Dec. 13, 2023

How Do Post Conviction Remedies Differ From Appeals?

Understanding legal procedures such as appeals and post-conviction remedies can be overwhelming and complex, especially when you or a loved one are involved. The stakes are high, and the legal jargon can add to the stress.

At Law & Schriener, LLC, we're here to guide you through this journey and help you understand your options. If you are in the St. Louis, Missouri, area — including Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, or anywhere throughout Missouri — reach out to us today for support

What Are Post-Conviction Remedies?

Post-conviction remedies are legal avenues pursued after a conviction to challenge the legality or validity of the conviction and the subsequent sentence.

These remedies can encompass different actions such as a petition for habeas corpus, a motion to vacate sentence, or a request for DNA testing. They are generally focused on matters that were not addressed or could not have been addressed during the trial or on appeal, such as ineffective assistance of counsel or newly discovered evidence. 

What Are Appeals?

Appeals, on the other hand, refer to a process for seeking a higher court's review of a lower court's decision. The appellant (the party appealing) must demonstrate that errors were made in the trial court’s decision-making process, which affected the final judgment.

It's important to note that an appeal is not a retrial or new trial of the case. The appellate court reviews the record of the trial court proceedings and determines whether to affirm or reverse the lower court’s decision. 

Understanding the Differences

Appeals and post-conviction remedies serve different purposes and have distinct scopes. Simply put, here is a list of the differences: 

  • Purpose: Appeals challenge the conviction or sentence based on errors made during the trial. Post-conviction remedies address issues that weren't raised or resolved during the trial or appeal process. 

  • Scope: Appeals deal with the trial's legal and procedural aspects, while post-conviction remedies can introduce new evidence, challenge the constitutionality of a conviction, or raise claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. 

  • Timing: Appeals are typically filed immediately after a conviction or sentencing, whereas post-conviction remedies can be pursued anytime after the conviction becomes final. 

  • Flexibility: Post-conviction remedies offer more flexibility as they allow the presentation of new legal arguments or evidence that weren't available or known during the trial or appeal. 

In sum, both appeals and post-conviction remedies are vital components of the legal system, serving to uphold justice and ensure fairness. While they have differences in purpose, scope, timing, and flexibility, both processes are necessary to rectify errors, introduce new evidence, or bring out the overlooked aspects from the trial process. Understanding these differences equips individuals to make informed decisions when dealing with the law. 

How to Determine if a Post-Conviction Remedy or Appeal is Right for You?

Determining whether to pursue a post-conviction remedy or an appeal involves careful consideration of your unique circumstances and the facts of your case. Consulting with an experienced attorney is crucial for comprehending your legal position and potential paths forward. Here are some aspects to consider: 

  • Nature of the Issue: Consider whether your concerns pertain to potential errors made during the trial (suitable for an appeal) or issues that arose outside the trial process or after the conviction (applicable to post-conviction remedies). For instance, new evidence that emerges after the trial would generally fall within the purview of post-conviction remedies. 

  • Timing: If the conviction or sentencing just occurred, an appeal might be the more appropriate route. However, if time has passed and the conviction is final, then a post-conviction remedy may be the only option left. 

  • Availability of New Evidence or Arguments: If you have new evidence that wasn't available during the trial or legal arguments that weren't previously brought up, these can be presented through post-conviction remedies. 

Remember, this decision isn't a one-size-fits-all situation; each case is unique. It's crucial to seek advice from a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through your options based on your individual circumstances.  

Types of Post-Conviction Remedies

There's a wide range of legal options available under post-conviction remedies. At Law & Schriener, LLC, we can help our clients through various types of these remedies, including: 

  1. DNA Exoneration: Here, we present new DNA evidence that wasn't available or tested during the trial, potentially proving your innocence. 

  1. Writ of Habeas Corpus: We file Missouri and Federal Habeas Corpus petitions to challenge the lawfulness of your detention or confinement, often raising claims of constitutional violations or ineffective assistance of counsel. 

  1. Expungements: This process allows you to have your criminal records sealed or erased, removing the stigma associated with a conviction. 

  1. Asset Forfeiture: We challenge the seizure of assets by law enforcement agencies, asserting that the seizure was unlawful or violated your constitutional rights. 

  1. Criminal Defense: We provide legal representation for ongoing criminal defense matters, such as drug charges, DWI/DUI, internet crimes, child pornography, violent/gun crimes, and white-collar crimes. 

Navigating these remedies requires a thorough understanding of the legal process, making it crucial to consult with experienced attorneys like us. 

Make an Informed Choice That Fits Your Needs

Post-conviction remedies offer a chance to rectify errors or injustices that may have occurred during the trial or appeal process. However, pursuing these remedies can be a lengthy and complex process. It involves gathering and presenting compelling evidence, navigating intricate legal procedures, and addressing the burden of proof. 

That's why it's crucial to work with a dedicated team like ours at Law & Schriener, LLC. We understand the nuances of these legal procedures and are committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for you. 

Post-conviction remedies differ from appeals in their purpose, timing, and scope. By understanding these distinctions and seeking the guidance of knowledgeable attorneys, you can effectively navigate the post-conviction process and pursue justice. Reach out to us at Law & Schriener, LLC today, and let's explore your options together. 


How to Win Post Conviction Relief  -

In the intricate landscape of the legal system, post-conviction relief stands as a beacon of hope for those who believe in the pursuit of justice, even after a verdict has been rendered. No matter where you are in the process, it’s important to know that you have options.

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