When convicted on a federal level, your future endeavors can seem bleak. Having something like this on your record in North Carolina can limit your employment opportunities and educational loans, and you may lose one or more professional license designations.

You may be able to clear your record by filing for post-conviction relief. The rules for this type of intervention seem narrow; however, it does seem like it is worth the attempt. Knowing what this type of assistance entails is beneficial to your success.

What qualifies as post-conviction relief

An appeal is not the same process as post-conviction relief. The grounds for both differ in that an appeal is trying to overturn a conviction based on new evidence or the mishandling of the case by your attorney. You cannot raise new evidence or get new witnesses during the process. A post-conviction relief process is only relevant if one of the following applies:

  • The court imposed a harsher sentence than the crime called for
  • Your sentence is a violation of statutory or constitutional law
  • Your attorney believes you can file a suit based on injustice
  • The court that rendered the sentence was not the proper venue

If your particular situation does not rise to one of these four prongs, it will fail.

You have served your sentence

After conviction, you serve out the sentence imposed by the judge. It was not too time consuming and at the end of it, you figure it is possible you can go back and file a post-conviction relief proceeding. However, this is not the case. The time for filing for relief via this route is while you serve your sentence, not afterward. The sentence must currently violate your civil liberties to start the post-conviction relief process.

You want to clear your name and get your life back on track. While a post-conviction relief suit is one way to accomplish this, your attorney will know best whether it is the proper procedure for your situation or not.