On March 24, 2022 I moderated a seminar for the Middlesex County Bar Association, speaking along with Judge Paul Endler and Prosecutor Mark Cintron. The topic was obtaining Post-Conviction Relief in the Municipal Courts.
Post-Conviction Relief is an important concept, through which defendants ask a court to re-open convictions which had occurred in the past. This usually occurs when someone is facing serious enhanced penalties because of prior offenses, especially in dwi cases where a third or subsequent offense requires substantial loss of driving privileges, mandatory jail or lifetime loss of a Commercial Driver’s License.
Post-Conviction relief is also critical for drivers with immigrant status such as a visa, green card, DACA or application for citizenship. Unfortunately, some lawyers recommend their clients plead guilty to DWI charges without considering severe adverse immigration consequences.
One of the most important considerations in seeking this type of relief is the promptness necessary in making an application. Basically, Court Rules require that applications be made within five years of a guilty plea, unless a factual basis is challenged. The bottom line is that anyone believing they have a claim for Post-Conviction Relief should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.