South Carolina Post-Conviction Relief Lawyer 

If your defense attorney failed to act in your best interests or was incompetent, now is the time to seek post-conviction relief. You may be eligible for a new trial where you can argue for your innocence. A professional South Carolina post-conviction relief lawyer could review the facts of your case and help you request a retrial if appropriate. Read on to learn more about how an experienced defense attorney can make a difference in your case.

Post-Conviction Relief Defined

Post-conviction relief, or PCR, refers to a specific type of legal remedy available for those convicted of a crime. Applying for PCR is usually a last resort in state court for a convicted individual. In other words, if someone loses their criminal appeal, they can then apply for PCR.

Someone applying for PCR is generally challenging their criminal conviction on the basis that their defense lawyer acted incompetently. A PCR application asks the state’s circuit courts to overturn the conviction and grant a new trial. In some cases, the convicted individual may apply for PCR because there was some other type of legal error that occurred during their trial (such as newly discovered evidence or prosecutorial misconduct).

Statute of Limitations

Those seeking PCR must submit a formal application to the state’s circuit court in the county of their conviction. If they meet all specific criteria, they must apply within one year of the conclusion of their direct appeal. This strict time limit to file the initial application after the direct appeal has been exhausted is known as the statute of limitations. A knowledgeable South Carolina defense lawyer may help those convicted of a crime pursue a new trial through the post-conviction relief process.

Who Can Apply for PCR?

Anyone who is still working through a direct appeal cannot seek PCR unless their appeal is denied. In South Carolina, criminal defendants can only apply for PCR if they have exhausted their right to a direct appeal and can prove that their right to the effective assistance of counsel was violated during the legal process.

PCR Eligibility Requirements

Proving a defendant’s rights were violated during the legal process can be difficult. Furthermore, the defendant can only apply for PCR if a specified right was violated. In their PCR application, the defendant must prove at least one of the following instances occurred during their criminal trial or appeal:

  • Their defense attorney was incompetent
  • Their defense attorney provided ineffective assistance of counsel (failed to call key witnesses, failed to investigate the case, failed to present evidence, etc.)
  • Prosecutorial misconduct
  • Exonerating evidence was uncovered after the trial concluded

Reach out to a qualified South Carolina post-conviction relief attorney to learn more about strategies on how to prove these circumstances.

What Happens if the Courts Grant PCR?

If the court decides to grant PCR, the defendant’s original conviction is overturned. Then, the case is referred back to the circuit court for a new trial. Within this trial, the defendant can present any newly discovered evidence in their favor.

Speak with a South Carolina Post-Conviction Relief Lawyer

If you have been convicted of a crime and are ready to pursue PCR, get in touch a dedicated South Carolina post-conviction relief lawyer today to discuss your case with an attorney who can advocate for your needs.

South Carolina Post-Conviction Relief Lawyer