An Overview of Federal Post-Conviction Relief
Post-conviction relief is a way for someone to get their sentence vacated (charges dropped) or reduced (less jail time). Some people who are convicted of a crime in federal court are eligible to file for post-conviction relief. In most cases, it must be filed shortly after the conviction is handed down.
When you’re filing for post-conviction relief, you’ll want to enlist the services of a diligent federal defense attorney. Ted Hasse is familiar with every kind of federal post-conviction relief. He understands the process and what needs to be done. You don’t want to attempt this on your own. Choose Ted Hasse for your best chance at success.
Who Qualifies For Post-Conviction Relief?
Not just anyone who is convicted of a federal crime can file for post-conviction relief. There are certain qualifications. You may qualify if:
- You were sentenced under old sentencing guidelines
- You are of advanced age
- You are suffering from a severe/fatal or chronic illness
- You believe you had insufficient counsel
If you think you fall into one of these categories, contact federal defense attorney Ted Hasse. He will investigate your case and determine if he thinks you have a chance. Even if you think it’s a long-shot, you have nothing to lose. A confidential consultation can give you insight into your options.
Types of Post-Conviction Relief
One type of post-conviction relief is known as compassionate release. It applies primarily to old prisoners and ill prisoners.
To qualify for a compassionate release due to old age, you must be at least 65 years old. You must also be experiencing deteriorating health due to your age. You will have to have served ten years or 75% of your sentence, whichever is less.
In order to qualify for compassionate release due to illness, you must have a terminal illness or a serious illness you’re not expected to recover from. You must have a serious medical or mental condition, including functional or cognitive impairments, that diminish your ability to provide self-care.
You may also qualify for compassionate release if the caregiver of your minor child(ren) dies or is incapacitated. Similarly, you could qualify if your spouse is incapacitated, and you’re the only available caregiver.
If you think you might qualify for post-conviction relief through compassionate relief, get it touch with Ted Hasse. He’s a federal defense attorney who can help you decide what to do next.
Another type of post-conviction relief is related to outdated sentencing guidelines. If the guidelines that you were sentenced under have changed since you were sentenced, you may qualify for post-conviction relief.
This is most prevalent with the passing of the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act (FSA). Prisoners serving time for the drug charge of cocaine possession previously had a disparity of 100:1 for powder and crack cocaine. This meant that it took 100 grams of powder cocaine to get the same sentence as just one gram of crack cocaine, even though it’s the same drug in different forms.
The FSA changed it to 18:1. Where possessing ten grams of crack could land you in prison for ten years, you’d have to have 180 grams of powder cocaine to serve ten years. While there’s still a disparity, it has been significantly reduced. Therefore, prisoners who are serving time for possession of crack cocaine are eligible to get their sentences reduced.
Consult with a federal defense attorney if you think you might qualify for post-conviction relief related to outdated sentencing guidelines. Ted Hasse can explain your options and help you move forward.
A third type of post-conviction relief is the ineffective counsel defense. The 6th and 14th amendments to the Constitution guarantee you effective counsel. If you believe that your attorney did not follow professional standards, and their poor representation negatively affected the outcome of your case, you might qualify for post-conviction relief.
If you think ineffective counsel might qualify you for post-conviction relief, seek the effective counsel of federal defense attorney Ted Hasse. As an attorney, he knows how your case should’ve been handled, and he can help you file for relief if it wasn’t handled properly.
An additional type of post-conviction relief is pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. §2255. It is used to raise jurisdictional, constitutional, or other fundamental errors in sentencing. You must be in custody in order to file, and you can only file for issues that couldn’t have been raised on direct appeal. From the final judgement of conviction, you have one year to file with the district court that sentenced you.
If you think you qualify for post-conviction relief under §2255, you need a federal defense attorney who understands the requirements. Ted Hasse can help determine if you should file for relief.
The Process of Post-Conviction Relief
When filing for post-conviction relief, the defendant must first prepare a brief discussing their argument for post conviction relief. The brief is sent to the U.S. Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel makes a decision based on the brief, a written record of the case, and possibly also oral argument.
If the judges do decide to hear oral arguments, each side has 15 minutes to make their case. You’ll want an experienced federal defense attorney to speak on your behalf. Ted Hasse knows what to say and how to say it. Once the judges have reviewed all the information, they will choose one of three possible outcomes.
One is reversing/overturning the lower court’s decision, thereby granting the defendant relief. The second is affirming/upholding the lower court’s decision, which means no changes in sentencing. The third is remanding the lower court’s decision, which means it needs further action or a new trial.
Once the judges have discussed the case and reached a decision, they draft a written opinion. This could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Once the opinion is complete, the defendant can read their decision.
Free Consultation with a Federal Defense Attorney
If you are seeking post-conviction relief for a federal conviction, you need a skilled federal defense attorney to guide you through the process. Ted Hasse can ensure you have the best chance at success.
He will discuss your options with you and help you decide if you should file for post-conviction relief. If you choose to file, he will be there with you every step of the way. He’ll make sure you understand what needs to be done and how. For a free consultation, call Ted Hasse at (918) 932-2744.