Post Conviction Relief Petitions, State and Federal

If you believe that you or a loved one was wrongly convicted of a crime, both the State of Hawaii courts and the United States courts permit post­conviction attacks on the criminal judgment by way of petition on a court approved form. The State of Hawaii permits such attack on a criminal judgment pursuant to Rule 40 of the Hawaii Rules of Penal Procedure on the following grounds:

  1. the judgment was obtained or sentence imposed in violation of the constitution of the United States or of the State of Hawaii;
  2. the court which rendered the judgment was without jurisdiction over the person or the subject matter;
  3. the sentence was illegal;
  4. there is newly discovered evidence; or
  5. there is any ground which is a basis for collateral attack on the judgment.

There is no time limit to file a petition in the Circuit and District Courts under this rule.

There is also a right to review of a state conviction in the United States District Court pursuant to 28 United States Code §2254 (also on a court approved form), but one must exhaust all available remedies in state court first. The grounds are essentially the same as the state rule. Also, there is a one year period from the date of actual or possible exhaustion of state remedies to file such a petition or the right to file a federal petition is lost. A federal conviction can be reviewed in the same manner pursuant to 28 United States Code §2255, with the same time limitation.

One should never wait after conviction to seek these remedies. Time is generally not on your side, and records and transcripts can be lost. Always keep your records. Lawyers in Hawaii only need to keep clients' records for six years, so get your records from your attorney.

It is extremely difficult to win one of these cases, but it can be done in the right circumstances and with an attorney who knows how to overcome the hurdles involved. Earle A. Partington has been handling these kind of cases since 1970, so do not hesitate to call him for a free consultation at 808-526-9500 any afternoon Hawaii Standard Time.

Email Earle A. Partington today for expert help.

The sooner Earle A. Partington can start working together on your defense, the easier it will be to obtain a positive result. He pays attention to detail (see In The News).

The best way to reach Earle A. Partington is to send him an email with a brief description of your situation:

You may also send faxes to 808-537-1144 or call 808-526-9500.

The best time to call is between 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Hawaiian Standard Time (0300-0630 hours Zulu). Earle A. Partington cannot return international phone calls. Please understand that you cannot obtain competent advice via the Internet, so do not email Earle A. Partington about your case and expect him to tell you what to do in your case. Competent advice can only come after a thorough investigation into the facts of a case.

Please note: EARLE A. PARTINGTON DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICES IN THE AREA OF VETERANS LAW WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MILITARY LAW. Contact the local office of the Veterans Administration for assistance, or search the internet for Washington, D.C., attorneys emphasizing Veterans Law. Earle A. Partington knows nothing about Veterans Law.