Understand Your Post-Conviction Rights

With more than 35 years of experience in the area of criminal law, our legal team at the office of Michael C. Hennenberg has extensive experience and has represented many Cleveland-area individuals in their pursuit of post-conviction relief. Post-conviction relief may include the following areas of law:

1. Judicial Release

Judicial release may be available to an eligible offender, as defined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2929.20, as "any person who, on or after April 7, 2009, is serving a stated prison term that includes one or more nonmandatory prison terms." A person's eligibility to file a motion for judicial release is also determined by the length of the sentence.

For example, for a person serving a nonmandatory prison term of less than two (2) years, the person (or "eligible offender") may file a motion no earlier than thirty (30) days after arrival at a state correctional institution. R.C. 2929.20(C).

The Judicial Release Process

In the preparation of a motion for judicial release, attorneys Michael C. Hennenberg and Justin C. Withrow will:

  • Meet with the applicant's family and review the court records to verify the applicant's judicial release eligibility;
  • Determine if an expert is needed who could lend support in seeking judicial release. For example, we have worked with professionals who have submitted reports and/or testified in the area of recidivism — the probability of the applicant reoffending.
  • Prepare and file a motion for judicial release in the sentencing court; and
  • Appear at all scheduled court appearances.

2. Expungement

3. Motion To Vacate Plea And Set Aside The Judgment Of Conviction

For many reasons, including employment and immigration issues, an individual may need to attempt to vacate his or her plea and set aside his or her conviction. In our 35 years of experience, we have represented many individuals who committed either a misdemeanor or felony offense as a young adult and went on to better themselves through higher education. Years later, the individual finds he or she is unable to obtain the desired employment or professional licensure due to the prior conviction.

Professional licensing agencies may recommend the denial of a licensure application, or place restrictions on the renewal of an existing or pending license application for: (1) a conviction; (2) a guilty plea; (3) a finding of guilt by the trier of fact; or (4) a finding of guilt following a no-contest plea. Offenses of violence usually prohibit an individual from obtaining professional licensure.

With respect to immigration matters, certain local, state or federal convictions may result in the denial of admissibility into or deportation from the United States, and may be a permanent bar to becoming a naturalized citizen. We have close working relationships with internationally known attorneys practicing in the areas of immigration, visa and citizenship law.

The Process In Filing A Motion To Vacate Plea And Set Aside Judgment Of Conviction

In the preparation of a motion to vacate plea and set aside judgment of conviction, our attorneys will:

  • Meet with the individual to obtain personal, educational and employment information, review available court records and, when available, order court transcripts, to review the trial court proceedings;
  • Determine if experts are needed to give support in seeking to vacate a plea and set aside the judgment.
  • Prepare and file a motion to vacate plea and set aside judgment of conviction; and
  • Appear for all scheduled court appearances.

4. Ohio And Federal Appellate Practice

Attorney Michael C. Hennenberg is admitted to represent individuals on appeal in the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, the Ohio Supreme Court and Ohio Courts of Appeals. Below are some common issues that Ohio criminal defendants raise in state and/or federal appeal:

  • The state did not meet its burden in establishing the elements of the crimes charged.
  • The trial court allowed evidence to be presented at trial that was gathered in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights, e.g ., from an unlawful search or seizure or confession obtained in violation of a defendant's right to counsel.
  • The arrest was illegal.
  • The trial court allowed evidence to be presented at trial that was prohibited by the Ohio Rules of Evidence.
  • The jury instructions were improper and misleading.
  • The trial court did not follow the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure.
  • The trial court issued an illegal sentence.
  • The jury began deliberations before the close of evidence or juror misconduct unfairly contributed to a guilty verdict.
  • Prosecutorial misconduct unfairly prejudiced the jury.
  • The defendant's trial counsel was ineffective and these mistakes contributed to an unfavorable verdict.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Post-Conviction Options

For a consultation about possible post-conviction representation, contact the office of Michael C. Hennenberg in Cleveland, Ohio. Our team will aggressively defend your rights and freedom at every stage of the legal process: 440-565-4214.

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