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.

Can I appeal my case in DC?

Appealing a criminal conviction is not an automatic right. Many people do not understand how appeals work and that your case must qualify. According to the District of Columbia Courts, you do have the right to request an appeal in any situation. However, the court...

What are the requirements of pre-conviction DNA collection?

DNA evidence plays a significant role in the criminal justice system. In some cases, it can convict a person of a crime. In others, it establishes the innocence of a person who has spent years of their life in prison.   Because it is a deciding factor in so many...

DJS: ONE-STOP JUVENILE JUSTICE IN MARYLAND

In Maryland, all things “delinquency” flow through the Department of Juvenile Services.  If you are a parent seeking a peace order in a juvenile case, you would go there.  If you are a police officer who has arrested a juvenile, you know to go there.  If you are an...

How should you react to suspected FBI investigation?

White collar crimes often slide under the radar when people discuss life-ruining convictions. But a conviction for one of these crimes can and often does have the power to ruin lives. The FBI states that federal law enforcement agencies investigate all crimes brought...