Even after your criminal conviction, you may have recourse to modify, reduce, or reconsider your sentence. Taking these crucial actions can have a significant impact on your sentence and may allow you to reach a more favorable outcome in your case. Contacting a Greenwood Village post-conviction relief lawyer as quickly as possible is wise, as there are strict deadlines that likely apply in your case.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer could examine the evidence in your case and evaluate the circumstances that led to your conviction. While every case is different, there typically are various pros and cons to consider before you decide upon the best post-conviction relief strategy in your case. Jenn and Justie at Colorado Lawyer Team can give you the information and advice that you need to make these decisions and proceed with any motions for post-conviction relief.
Filing for Post-Conviction Modification of Sentences
Colorado Rule of Criminal Procedure 35(b) asks a trial court to reconsider and hopefully reduce the sentence that imposed for a specific criminal conviction. Individuals must file this motion within 126 days of the imposition of the sentence. The court also can reconsider a sentence on its initiative within this same 126-day period.
After individuals file a motion to reconsider and modify the sentence, the court can deny the motion without a hearing or set the matter for a hearing. Individuals also must appeal their convictions to seek a modification of sentence under Rule 35(b). A conviction becomes final if the defendant does not appeal the conviction within 126 days.
If individuals were sentenced under a plea agreement with the District Attorney (DA), they must be cautious about filing a motion to reconsider. If the court modifies or reduces a sentence to which individuals agreed, then the DA can withdraw from the plea agreement, reinstate dismissed charges, and then proceed with a trial. As an experienced post-conviction relief attorney in Colorado may advise, if this situation occurs, the defendant could face a conviction on a more significant number of charges, as well as a lengthier sentence.
Seeking Postconviction Relief under Rule 35(c)
This type of motion asks the trial court to review a criminal conviction and determine that it was invalid. If a court grants a Rule 35(c) motion, it can set aside the conviction, which can result in reducing or vacating the sentence altogether. Colorado law sets forth stringent time limits for filing Rule 35(c) motions, although there are some of these motions that have no applicable time limit:
- Petty offenses, six months following the date of conviction
- Misdemeanors, 18 months following the date of conviction
- Felonies, three years following the date of conviction, except Class 1 felonies
- Class 1 felonies, any time
Various grounds may justify filing a 35(c) motion. For instance, individuals may argue that their conviction was illegal or that the law under which they were convicted is invalid. Defendants also could say that the court did not have jurisdiction to consider the case, or that new evidence exists that was not reasonably discoverable before the conviction occurred.
Other possible bases for a 35(c) motion include collateral attacks, such as ineffective assistance of counsel at trial or prosecutorial misconduct. These are only some of the potential grounds that may form the basis for a 35(c) motion. A knowledgeable post-conviction relief lawyer in Colorado may be able to evaluate a conviction and determine whether there is a valid reason to pursue a 35(c) motion in a specific case.
Greenwood Village Post-Conviction Relief Attorney
Whether you are looking to reduce your sentence or completely overturn your criminal conviction, a Greenwood Village post-conviction relief lawyer may be able to help. You may seek additional types of post-conviction relief, such as appealing your sentence to a higher court or petitioning to expunge your criminal conviction. Whatever your situation may be, you are likely to need legal advice about how to proceed in your case.
State law provides various remedies for obtaining relief from your criminal conviction. Many are subject to deadlines for filing, so you should not hesitate to seek the guidance of legal counsel as quickly as possible following your conviction. Call Jenn and Justie at Colorado Lawyer Team to get started building your defense.