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Post Conviction Relief

Not all trials end up being fair. Mistakes by the judge or attorney are opportunities to have a conviction overturned and a new trial ordered. If you feel you or a loved one has been convicted unfairly, post conviction relief may be an opportunity for a new trial.

Reasons for Application for Post Conviction Relief in South Carolina

Most applications for post conviction relief in South Carolina are based on arguments that the original trial lawyer mishandled their case, leading to an unfair trial.

To prove the original attorney was ineffective, the PCR process must show:

  1. The original trial attorney did not provide the level of legal assistance that would be considered reasonable; and 
  2. The mistake(s) made may have changed the decision in the case.

Other possible reasons to seek Post Conviction Relief include:

  • Ineffective attorney in the appeals process
  • Discover of new evidence after the trial
  • Rare errors, such as the case being tried in the wrong court

How PCR Works in South Carolina

In South Carolina, post conviction relief is the final step in trying to overturn a conviction. In many cases, it comes after a direct appeal has been denied. You need to act quickly after conviction or completion of the appeals process. The law only allows 1 year after a denied appeal or new evidence is found to apply for post conviction relief. So it is important to act fast because the application process is complex and needs to include all legal arguments that a new trial should happen.

After the application is filed, a hearing may be held before a judge in the circuit court where the original trial took place. After taking the application and evidence from the hearing into consideration, the judge will issue a written order with the determination of whether a new trial is needed.

Get Help with Post Conviction Relief

Attorney Nathan J. Sheldon is experienced with the post conviction relief process. He has prepared and argued dozens ofPCR cases in the 6th Circuit Court (Chester, Fairfield and Lancaster counties) and 16th Circuit Court (York and Union County, SC). His experience as a criminal defense attorney for all types of crimes gives him the knowledge needed to find potential flaws that could have resulted in an unfair conviction.

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