RaquinMercer Law Offices
“The Defense Never Rests.”

Post-Conviction Proceedings

RaquinMercer LLC has extensive experience with collateral challenges to Maryland state court convictions and sentences, and federal habeas cases. Steve and Isabelle approach their representation of a client in post-conviction proceedings with the firm belief that successful claims can only be identified through complete preparation and precise execution in an evidentiary hearing. Steve has successfully obtained post-conviction relief of a new trial from murder convictions and other serious crimes, such as rape, sex offenses and abuse. Steve’s particular area of expertise include challenges involving DNA/forensic science, but his success also extends to non-DNA/forensic science claims of wrongful conviction.

Broadly defined, a post-conviction proceeding may involve a motion for new trial based on newly discovered evidence, a petition under the Maryland Post-Conviction Procedures Act, a Writ of Actual Innocence, a Petition for Post-Conviction DNA testing, or a petition for a common law writ such as habeas corpus, arrest of judgment, and corem nobis. Although Maryland has unified the procedures for many of the post-conviction challenges and most of the historic common law writs, a complex set of rules govern waiver of these claims with many opportunities for a default to occur. Also, because of the tension between a collateral attack on a judgment of conviction and the State’s interest in the finality of a judgment, the substantive law that defines these claims is constantly evolving—and often not in helpful ways. For all of these reasons, success in a post-conviction proceedings requires extensive trial, appellate, and post-conviction experience.

Contact RaquinMercer LLC to speak with Steve and Isabelle about your post-conviction case.

DNA/Forensic Science: Trials, Appeals, Post-Convictions

You may not be aware of it yet, but your case probably involves DNA/forensic science. DNA/forensic science may include any of the following types of evidence frequently introduced during a trial: fingerprints, cell phone/GPS location information, digital/computer evidence, firearm/toolmark comparisons, arson, cause/manner of death, trace evidence, hair/fiber, medical diagnoses of non-accidental trauma, sexual assault examinations and forensic interviews of children, breath, blood or urine tests for alcohol or drugs, and forensic analysis of suspected CDS.

It takes advanced knowledge of science and the law to identify the problem with DNA/forensic science in your case and to develop solutions. It is often the most powerful form of evidence against you. RaquinMercer has the expertise to review, challenge, and confront the DNA/forensic science in your case. We litigate DNA/forensic science issues at trial, on appeal, and in post-conviction, in prosecutions for murder, rape, child abuse (physical and sexual), sexual offenses, robbery, burglary, assault, drug possession and distribution, weapons charges, theft, fraud, DUI/traffic cases, and violations of parole and probation.

Contact RaquinMercer LLC to speak with Steve and Isabelle about the DNA/forensic science evidence in your case.

What might you face in drug court?

Drug charges may impact many aspects of your life. Regardless of the reason behind the arrest, you may wonder what your future holds and how things may change. Special courts dealing in drug charges have come about to help people like you get a quicker resolution to...

Can a forensic interview keep you from a wrongful conviction?

Forensic interviews are not just for the prosecution. In this process, the defense can gather information from a witness or victim to present in a court hearing. In situations involving allegations of child abuse, this technique offers the defense an opportunity to...

What is “trace DNA” and how do investigators find it?

In identifying the perpetrator of a crime, major tasks might include sifting through the evidence for materials having characteristics that do not change over time. Fingerprints are examples of such characteristics. Another example of profiling technology is trace DNA...

What may help me when I file an appeal?

If you found a harmful legal error that led to your conviction, you may file an appeal and request that a judge review your case. Showing that a mistake in the court’s actions or processing occurred may compel a judge to overturn a conviction. According to the...