file with folder labeled documentsIf you seek post-conviction relief after being convicted of a crime in a Florida state court, you will need to file a motion according to the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. Your motion must contain all of the required information, or your request for post-conviction relief could be denied.

Post-Conviction Relief Motions

You do not need a lot of documentation to file a motion for post-conviction relief, and you do not need to cite any case law to support your motion. However, your motion must include the following information:

  • The name and location of the court that entered your judgment
  • Dates of your judgment
  • Length of your sentence
  • Nature of all of the offenses included in your criminal case
  • Your plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendre and if you pled not guilty your reason for pleading that way
  • Whether you had a trial by jury or a judge without a jury
  • Whether you testified at trial
  • Whether you appealed the conviction
  • If you did appeal, the court to which you appealed, the court’s decision, the date of the court’s decision, and, if applicable, the citation of the court’s appeal
  • Whether you’ve filed any motions, petitions, or applications other than a direct appeal on this matter since your conviction and sentence. If you have, you must provide the court with information on the nature of the proceeding, the grounds for it, whether you received an evidentiary hearing, and, if appropriate, the outcome of that evidentiary hearing
  • A short but detailed statement about why you are seeking post-conviction relief. Your statement should include all the reasons for which you seek post-conviction relief. Your options include filing an involuntary or coerced plea, failure of the prosecution to disclose evidence that was favorable to you, ineffective assistance of counsel, double jeopardy, denial of a rightful appeal, newly discovered evidence, the court lacked jurisdiction, your sentence exceeds the time the maximum sentence allowed by Florida law or a retroactive change in the law that would affect your case.
  • Whether any of your grounds for post-conviction relief were not included in your direct appeal
  • Whether any other motions are pending related to the criminal case that resulted in your conviction or sentence, and if so, information about those motions and where they are pending
  • The name and address of the attorney who represented you at your preliminary hearing and your arraignment and plea at your trial, at sentencing, on appeal, in any other post-conviction motions, and on appeal from any other post-conviction motions
  • What you want the court to do

After your motion is submitted with all of this information included, the court can decide whether to schedule an evidentiary hearing or deny your motion based on the record. You may be required to provide additional documentation at a hearing, such as newly discovered evidence and witness statements made under oath.

Don’t Let This Information Scare You

You don’t have to file a post-conviction relief motion alone. You have the right to consult with an experienced Florida post-conviction relief lawyer who will prepare your motion on your behalf and make sure all of your rights are protected.

What happens after a successful post-conviction motion for relief is decided depends on your reasons for filing the motion and the facts of your specific case. For example, if you file a motion for post-conviction relief based on newly discovered evidence or a retroactive change in the law, the outcome may be that the trial court dismisses your case. However, if your motion is based on ineffective assistance of counsel, the state could prosecute you again.

You have a lot at stake, and a post-conviction motion may be your last option. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact the Law Offices of Robert David Malove to make sure that your motion is filed correctly with all of the information necessary for the court to make a decision.

Robert Malove
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South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney