Wrongfully Convicted? There is a way to clear your record.
Once upon a time, if you were wrongfully convicted of a crime and you had already served your time, vacating the underlying conviction was limited and difficult. Thankfully, in 2003, the California Legislature noted the increased number of cases wherein it was proven that a defendant was wrongfully convicted based on false testimony of a police officer or DNA exoneration long after the defendant’s sentence had been served and, therefore, promulgated California Penal Code section 1473.6.
This statute provides the means for you to vacate a wrongful conviction. To qualify for this relief, you must have completely served your sentence and:
- (1) Newly discovered evidence of fraud by a government official that completely undermines the prosecution’s case, is conclusive, and points unerringly to his or her innocence.
- (2) Newly discovered evidence that a government official testified falsely at the trial that resulted in the conviction and that the testimony of the government official was substantially probative on the issue of guilt or punishment.
- (3) Newly discovered evidence of misconduct by a government official committed in the underlying case that resulted in fabrication of evidence that was substantially material and probative on the issue of guilt or punishment. Evidence of misconduct in other cases is not sufficient to warrant relief under this paragraph.
It is important to note that, once you have information tending to prove your innocence, you must act upon that within one year. Moreover, if there is actual evidence of misconduct by the police, you must act within 6 months to avail yourself of money damages. If this happened to you, don’t hesitate to contact Santa Rosa Criminal Defense attorney Gabriel Quinnan here at Quinnan Law. In a brief, free consultation, Mr. Quinnan can help determine your next steps.