Post-conviction relief in Maryland is an option if you are currently in jail or prison or serving probation or parole. The state distinguishes this from the type of relief you may seek to clear your record if you are not actively serving a sentence.
The Officer of the Public Defender explains you have 10 years to file for post-conviction relief after your sentencing date. You must file with the court where you had your trial or plea.
To file for relief, you need to make a claim. The law requires you to prove two points. You must prove your attorney made an error, and that error impacted your case and led to your conviction. If you cannot prove these two factors, then you do not have a valid claim for post-conviction relief.
Burden of proof
Unlike with your criminal trial, the burden of proof is on you this time. That means you have to prove your case with evidence. If you cannot do that, you will likely not receive relief.
If you win, you get a new trial. It will not change anything else because it does not equate to overturning your first trial’s verdict or declaring you not guilty. You go back to the beginning and have to go through the process again.
If you lose, you can appeal the decision. But keep in mind that the court is not deciding if you are guilty during this process. The judge will only decide if you deserve a new trial.
Post-conviction relief can be confusing because there are different types. You should make sure you understand your eligibility and ensure that you file for the right type.