Post Conviction Relief in Minnesota

What types of Post Conviction Relief are there in Minnesota?

            The main one is a Petition for Post Conviction Relief. https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/2018/cite/590.01

            A Petition for Post Conviction Relief in Minnesota is filed with the trial court.  The trial court where the conviction was had.  In a Petition for Post Conviction Relief, the remedy sought is a reversal of the conviction, or, in other words, to have the conviction vacated.  To support a reversal of the conviction, there must have been defects in the proceedings that would warrant reversing the conviction.

            Some examples include– you did not get a fair trial.  Or, there was a constitutional violation. https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript  Or, evidence was admitted that should not have been admitted.  Or, the court did not apply the law correctly in determining your sentence.  Or, you have newly discovered evidence that would exonerate you. 

            A Petition for Post Conviction Relief must be filed within two (2) years of your conviction.  That means within two (2) years of being sentenced.  This is a very short time frame.  If the Petition for Post Conviction Relief is not filed within two (2) years of your conviction, then you must establish a good reason for why the court should make an exception to the two (2) year requirement, for example, it is in the interests of justice.  This is a difficult, but not impossible burden of proof.

            Another important requirement is that you must raise all bases for relief in the first Petition for Post Conviction Relief.  Subsequent petitions are frowned upon.  The general rule is that you must raise all possible issues for relief in the first petition.  All issues that are known, or should be known with the exercise of reasonable diligence must be raised.

            The Petition for Post Conviction relief is then filed in the trial court where the conviction was had.  The trial court then reviews the Petition.  The trial court may hold a hearing on the Petition.  This is when witnesses would testify, and evidence would be entered.  The trial court would then issue a ruling as to whether or not your petition would be granted.  If granted, then essentially, your case goes back to square one, unless it is due to some un-remediable error, such as a denial of a Speedy Trial.  If the latter, your conviction would be permanently reversed, and no re-trial would take place.  Other times, you would be granted a new trial.  Then, you could re-do a settlement negotiation, or, have another jury trial.

            If your Petition is denied and you subsequently bring another Petition for Post Conviction Relief, it will be procedurally barred if the issue could have been brought earlier.  One exception to this rule is if there is newly discovered evidence.  If it is newly discovered evidence, then the trial court may address a second or subsequent Petition for Post Conviction Relief.

            Once a conviction has been entered, generally, it is very difficult to get it reversed.  It is best to handle your case the best way the first time around.  However, sometimes, errors have occurred that need to be addressed via a Petition for Post Conviction Relief.

            Ms. Torgerson, a lawyer of excellence  and experience of over 25 years, has had success in this type of case.  For help with a Petition for Post Conviction Relief, call expert attorney Lynne Torgerson at (612) 339-5073.