Appeals & Post-Conviction

Appeals & Post-Conviction

Monday, July 6, 2015

Before an Appeal Becomes Impossible - Get that Plea Offer in Writing:

Most of my blog posts explain aspects of the appellate and post-conviction process.  However, I still handle several trial court-level cases each year.  First off, I spent a great deal of my early career defending people in federal court.  Secondly, as an appellate/ post-conviction attorney, if I am going to be second-guessing the trial work of other attorneys, I need to be "in the trenches" with them as well, not just for credibility's sake, but also to stay sharp on how the law is being applied and employed before a case climbs up to the appellate/ post-conviction arena.

Many of my post-conviction clients learn only after having hired me to investigate their cases that there were plea bargains offered to their former trial attorney earlier in their litigation history, which might have been accepted, and which would have given the clients a much better resolution to their cases.  Had the plea offers been better communicated, then there is a chance that these cases might have ended long ago, and with smaller amounts of punishment, not to mention avoiding the costs of appellate and post-conviction litigation.

The best practice is to ask your attorney (or the attorney defending your friend or family member) at the very outset of the representation to promise that all plea offers will be communicated  and explained in writing, so you all can really take the time necessary to think through all options, understand the potential consequences, and most importantly, compare sentencing exposure both then at the time of the plea offer, and down the road in the future if the offer is rejected and a trial is subsequently lost.

If you have a family member or friend fighting the battle against a wrongful conviction, or if you are a lawyer seeking assistance with an appeal or post-conviction matter, please call this office immediately.  There are always time deadlines limiting when these claims can be raised.  If you wish to learn more about the process, call now.

Jonathan Laurans wants you to be educated as to what you may be facing.  If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime in Missouri, Kansas or Texas, or in any federal court, contact him immediately.  Visit his website at and then call him at (816) 421-5200 for a FREE initial legal consultation.

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