Criminal Appeals And Post-Conviction Relief

If you were unfairly convicted of a crime because of errors in your trial, you may have grounds to appeal that conviction. If you have already lost your appeal, there may still be ways to attack your conviction through the state post-conviction process or the federal habeas corpus process.

Levine & McHenry LLC has extensive experience — and a high "batting average" — in appellate and post-conviction law. Our Portland law firm handles appeals and post-conviction relief in state and federal courts throughout Oregon. We offer a free initial consultation, and we welcome inquiries and referrals from other attorneys.

Were You Denied Justice Or Unfairly Punished?

Our law partners, Michael R. Levine and Matthew McHenry, are among the few criminal defense lawyers who handle appeals and post-conviction cases in addition to trial-level cases. This specialized arena requires a solid foundation in the law and legal research, in-depth understanding of court procedure, an eye for detail in examining the trial record, and a knack for crafting written briefs and oral arguments.

We have obtained notable results in appeals and post-conviction relief, including two recent cases in which our clients' convictions for serious crimes were reversed after losing at trial and losing on appeal.

Post-conviction relief refers to a specific legal remedy after all appeals are exhausted. However, our attorneys provide vigorous and skilled representation for all legal avenues that follow a guilty verdict (or even a guilty plea):

  • Sentencing mitigation — Mr. Levine is the author of "171 Easy Mitigating Factors," which is widely used by attorneys nationwide in federal criminal defense. We are known for securing reduced prison terms, alternative penalties and other favorable results at the sentencing phase.
  • Appeals — We have successfully appealed unjust convictions and overly harsh sentences. We identify specific errors at the trial court level, such as prejudicial evidence, excluded testimony, improper jury instructions or prosecutorial misconduct. Our attorneys have argued before all Oregon appellate courts and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Post-conviction relief — If an appellate court upholds the trial verdict as fair, you may have other grounds to challenge a conviction. We have won acquittals and new trials for ineffective assistance of counsel (incompetence of the original defense lawyer) and other grounds such as constitutional violations by police or coercion of a confession or guilty plea from a person in a vulnerable mental state.
  • Expungements and pardons — Some misdemeanor or felony convictions are eligible to be expunged under applicable state and federal laws. Our attorneys will work with you to accomplish this and "clean the slate" so that your conviction or arrest records do not hamper your future. In addition, our lawyers can draft and file petitions for governmental and presidential pardons in appropriate cases.

At trial, we are always looking ahead and raising issues on the record that might later be mitigating factors at sentencing or the foundation for appeals. We will explore every avenue to challenge an adverse outcome and give our honest assessment of your chances at each stage of the legal process.

If you believe you have grounds to overturn your conviction or alter your punishment, contact Levine & McHenry. In your free consultation and throughout your criminal appeals or post-conviction relief, you will work directly with one or both of our partners.