If you have been convicted of a crime in Alabama, and have exhausted all available appeals, you may still be able to challenge your conviction by filing a Rule 32 petition under Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure. Under certain circumstances, Rule 32 relief may also be available to you even if you have not appealed your conviction.
Rule 32 petitions are governed by strict technical rules, and advise and assistance of an experienced appellate attorney is highly recommended. An attorney can assist you or your family in evaluating your specific situation and whether a Rule 32 petition would be beneficial to you.
There are specific limited grounds for filing a Rule 32 Petition. The Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure sets out the following as recognized grounds for relief under Rule 32.
- A Courts lacked jurisdiction.
- A Sentence that exceeds the maximum allowable sentence under the law.
- Situations where a defendant is being held after the expiration of their sentence.
- Newly discovered evidence or facts.
- Situations where a defendant did not file a timely appeal
In cases involving newly discovered evidence, the law requires that the newly discovered evidence be something that was not known to the defendant or his attorney at sentencing or when a post-trial motion was filed. Additionally, the facts cannot be merely cumulative to other facts that were known at the time, and the new facts cannot be merely facts that constitute impeachment evidence. Overall, the newly discovered facts must be facts that, if known would likely have changed the outcome of the trial or sentencing.
Sometimes issues are precluded from being brought up in a Rule 32 Petition. If an issue may still be raised in a direct appeal, if it could have been raised in a direct appeal and was not raised, if it was or could have been raised at trial.
In order to determine whether a Rule 32 is appropriate for you, the attorneys at Bradford Ladner, LLP will review all the papers, filings and transcripts from the underlying case. We can then advise you on the best course of action.
Please call us for an initial conversation about the potential for a Rule 32 petition.