Postconviction Relief in California

Postconviction Relief in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Surrounding Areas

Just because you’ve been convicted of a crime doesn’t mean you’re out of options or your legal battle is over. Additional legal channels are available to seek relief from the court that could reduce your sentence, overturn your conviction, or grant you a new trial in some situations.

Attorney of Counsel Melissa Fair at The Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel understands the critical role of postconviction relief in the criminal justice system. Whether driven by changes in the law, personal growth, or evolving circumstances, empower yourself with the knowledge needed to understand the possibilities and implications to seek a fair and just resolution after a conviction.

Understanding California Postconviction Relief

California offers a range of legal avenues for those seeking to challenge their convictions or modify their sentences. For example, habeas corpus petitions scrutinize constitutional violations and procedural errors. Unearthing new evidence, such as DNA breakthroughs, also plays a pivotal role.

Changes in state laws can influence what happens to people after they are convicted. For example, The RISE Act allows for reducing sentences for those previously given added years (sentence enhancements) for certain prior crimes. As laws change that impact sentencing, it may be possible to request resentencing for those already incarcerated under old sentencing guidelines.

Areas of Postconviction Relief The Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel Can Help With

Navigating postconviction relief can be a complex process, but you don’t have to face it alone. Explore the wide range of services we offer to help overturn unjust outcomes and secure a fair resolution.

Motion to Withdraw Plea

This legal avenue allows individuals to challenge the validity of their guilty plea. Whether rooted in inadequate counsel, coercion, or newly discovered evidence, this motion serves as a crucial mechanism for those seeking postconviction relief.

These motions are typically used in cases where you did not understand your plea, did not enter the plea voluntarily, or did not have sufficient legal counsel when you entered the plea. Once granted, this motion will allow you to go back to the arraignment phase.

Motion for a New Trial

California allows for reevaluating a conviction based on things like compelling new evidence, procedural errors, or juror misconduct. If your attorney finds that something happened during the trial that prevented you from fair due process under the law, you may be entitled to a new trial. If granted, this motion sets aside your previous conviction and allows a new trial with a new jury.

Understanding the criteria for a motion for a new trial is crucial. It hinges on identifying significant errors or new evidence that could alter the trial’s outcome, ensuring justice is served.

Writ of Habeas Corpus

If your attorney believes you are being unlawfully imprisoned, they may file a writ of habeas corpus to seek relief from the court. This is typically seen as a measure of last resort and is filed once other postconviction relief efforts and appeals have failed.

A writ of habeas corpus may be granted because you had ineffective assistance of counsel during your trial. Other situations may include when new evidence has been discovered, you were incompetent to stand trial, or prosecutorial misconduct occurred.


After your conviction, you can petition the court to modify your original sentence. This is known as postconviction resentencing. In most cases, this occurs when individuals ask the court to be released from jail or prison or request their probation conditions be lifted or modified.

Eligibility factors may include changes in the law that retroactively apply to the case, demonstrated rehabilitation, or evolving circumstances that warrant a second look at the original sentence.

Representation While on Probation

While on probation, there are still opportunities to seek relief from the court. For example, your attorney may be able to request to modify the terms of your probation or petition for early termination of probation.

Individuals who comply with the terms of their probation and exhibit good behavior may be granted early termination, which can help them find employment and move on with their lives in a productive way.

Megan’s List Exclusions

Being on the sex offender registry can impact you for the rest of your life. According to Megan’s Law, convicted sex offenders must register for 10 or 20 years or the rest of their lives, depending on the circumstances and severity of the offense.

However, in some cases, offenders may be able to have their names deleted from the sex offender registry. Your defense attorney can petition for removal once you’ve completed your sentence and can demonstrate that you are no longer a threat to public safety.

Requests for Expungement or Sealing of Adult and Juvenile Records

After you’re convicted of a crime, you may have a lifelong criminal record even after you’ve completed your sentence and paid your dues. A criminal record can hinder your ability to find employment and housing and have far-reaching impacts for the rest of your life.

Your attorney may petition the court to have your records expunged or sealed, especially if you committed a crime while you were a juvenile and have kept your criminal record clean ever since.

Even as an adult offender, your attorney may be able to request to have your records sealed or expunged, depending on the severity of the crime and whether it was a misdemeanor or felony.

Don’t Give Up On Your Legal Options After A California Conviction

Navigating the available postconviction relief options requires a thorough understanding of criminal laws and court procedures. Having the proper legal representation can make a massive difference in your future.

Attorney of Counsel Melissa Fair with The Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel stands ready to offer guidance and support, ensuring individuals have the knowledge to navigate this legal journey effectively.

Whether driven by changes in the law, errors during your trial, or evolving circumstances, pursuing postconviction relief is a meaningful step toward seeking justice and a brighter future. Contact The Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel today to discuss your case and work toward achieving justice.

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Postconviction Relief in California
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