Don’t Let Your Criminal Past Cloud Your Future
Sometimes all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t prevent a conviction. However, when a judge or jury decides your fate — or you enter a guilty plea — it’s not necessarily the end of the story.
The criminal law attorneys at Resolute Law Firm, P.C. can help you put the past in the past. Much of our work involves post-conviction relief. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for court programs or legal actions to shorten a sentence, remove restrictions or clean your criminal slate. If you were wrongly accused or if you have paid your debt to society, our advocacy can help you move forward with your life.
Exploring Your Post-Conviction Options
Our criminal defense philosophy is to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. When we are mounting a defense against the charges, we are also building a case for leniency, support services or special consideration in the event of a conviction.
We have helped clients obtain different types of post-conviction relief:
- Record expungement — If you were charged with a crime but not convicted, it may be possible to erase those old arrest records. Not all crimes are eligible for expungement, but if the charges were dropped or you were found not guilty, it should not be held against you. Expunged records will not show up in a background check, and you can legally state on a job application that you were never arrested (for that offense).
- Pardons, clemency and commutation –There are mechanisms in the law to reduce a sentence, commute the remainder of a sentence or officially absolve you of the crime. We have helped clients clear their name, shave years off their prison terms or avoid the heavy burden of lifetime sex offender registration.
- Restoration of gun rights — Convicted felons are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, which is kind of a deal breaker for life in South Dakota. But you may be eligible to petition the court to have this important civil right restored, depending on the nature of your crime, how much time has passed and other factors.
- Suspended imposition of sentence (SIS) — This means the conviction is eventually stricken from your public record if you can keep out of trouble. In some cases, we have gone back to court to request SIS when a client has turned things around and stayed clean for a year or more. A suspended imposition of sentence can only be granted if it has been less than two years from your sentencing date.
- Deferred imposition for drug possession — Essentially, you plead guilty to both a misdemeanor and felony. But if you successfully complete a year of probation, only the misdemeanor drug conviction stays on your record.
- Sex offender registry removal — Some people who are on the registry are eligible for removal. The rules for removal are very particular. The attorneys at our firm have been successful in getting clients off of the registry. They can assess your case and determine whether you would be eligible to petition for removal. Please reach out to the office to inquire about your prospects.
Do You Qualify For Relief?
These are just some examples of your possible legal remedies. The rules are legally complex and fact-specific, so it can be difficult and daunting to pursue on your own. Please reach out to our knowledgeable lawyers to share your story and find out if we can help. We are big believers in second chances and fresh starts, and we have seen first-hand how post-conviction relief can make a real and immediate difference for our clients and their families.