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 is the difference between jail and prison?

When you receive a sentence for a criminal conviction, there is the possibility that you will become incarcerated. Where you spend your time behind bars depends on a few factors. The National Institute of Justice explains you could either go to jail or prison. They...

Can I appeal my criminal conviction?

After you receive your sentence for a criminal conviction, you may have the right to appeal your case to a higher court. An appeal allows you to ask the other court to review your case for accuracy. On appeal, you may receive the chance of a new trial. It is important...

What is “trace DNA” and how can it be used to challenge criminal charges or convictions?

Trace DNA uses STR analysis to identify skin cells or other tiny specimens of human genetic material left behind at a crime scene. In court, defense teams can protect clients against life-changing charges by pinpointing whose DNA was at the scene. The scientific...

How can you find support after incarceration?

Incarceration can leave a permanent impression on your life. During your time away, you might lose friendships, miss out on educational opportunities and have to put your career on hold. Finding support after your release can facilitate your reentry into society. With...