Post Conviction and Appeals

Indianapolis Post-Conviction & Appeals Attorney

Find Out How Harwell Legal Counsel Can Help

While the courts attempt to dispense justice as fairly and honestly as possible, sometimes mistakes are made, and people receive convictions they shouldn’t. Just because you have received a criminal conviction doesn’t mean your case is over. You still have options.

Our post-conviction and appeals attorney in Indianapolis has extensive experience in criminal law, and we can put this experience to work for you. We are prepared to help you fight for a more favorable outcome.

To discuss your post-conviction options with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, contact Harwell Legal Counsel at (317) 401-8715.

File an Appeal or a Post-Conviction Relief Motion

After a criminal conviction, you have a couple of options. The first is to file a direct appeal. An appeal is focused on overturning your previous trial because of errors made during the trial. No new evidence can be submitted during an appeal, and instead, the focus is on the previous trial itself. During the appeal, issues such as prosecutor misconduct, evidence errors, and sentencing errors may be discussed.

Another option is to file a Post-Conviction Relief motion or PCR. Someone may wish to file a PCR to challenge their conviction in situations where the appeals process is inadequate.

Reasons to file a Post-Conviction Relief motion include:

  • Discovery of new evidence favorable to you
  • Perjury
  • Juror bias
  • Ineffective assistance from counsel
  • Jurisdiction issues
  • Conviction or sentence violates the US or State Constitution

Post-Conviction Relief cases are rarer than appeals, and these cases tend to be very complicated. It is recommended that you work with an experienced post-conviction attorney, like ours at Harwell Legal Counsel.

How do I file an appeal in Indiana?

You can file an appeal if you disagree with the trial court’s decision. You have to file a Notice of Appeal with the Indiana Court of Appeals Clerk to start the process, the filing fee is $250. If you need any copies of any part of the trial court file, make a request within the notice of appeal. Feel free to call the Indiana Court of Appeals Clerk at (317) 232-1930.

How the Court of Appeals of Indiana Conducts its Review

Errors can occur during criminal trials. Depending on the seriousness of the error, the defendant may be entitled to relief on appeal. If the appellate court discovers that the error was harmless and did not affect the defendant, then they are not entitled to relief on appeal. The appellate court uses a different type of review to each error depending on the type of error:

  1. Clearly Erroneous: In some cases, the appellate court may discover that the result doesn’t follow the facts presented.

  2. De Novo: If people agreed on the facts but not on which law is applied. The reviewing court will look at all of the facts and circumstances and make its own determination of the issue without looking for influence from the trial court’s choice.

  3. Great Deference: The trial court was in the best spot to judge how credible the witnesses are. The appellate court will not disagree or reverse with a trial court’s decision.

  4. Abuse of Discretion: In reviewing some cases, the appellate court reverses the trial court’s decision only if it was against the circumstances and logic of the case.

How Long does an Appeal take in Indiana?

From filing the notice of appeal to a decision, the process usually takes 4 - 7 months. The time varies depending on the length of the transcript and whether any party asks for and is given more time.

How We Can Help You

Our post-conviction and appeals attorney in Indianapolis is committed to helping clients fight for more favorable outcomes to their cases. Even if you worked with a different attorney during your original trial, we could still help you with the post-conviction process. We can help you file your appeal, investigate your case, and prepare for all stages of the post-conviction process. At Harwell Legal Counsel, we believe everyone deserves competent and committed legal representation.

To find out how a post-conviction and appeals attorney can help you, contact us online or at (317) 401-8715.

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  • Jonathan D. Harwell Photo
    Jonathan D. Harwell


    Jonathan D. Harwell, owner and founder of Harwell Legal Counsel, grew up in Ohio before moving to Indiana in high school. Harwell attended Ball State University, where he majored in legal studies and graduated cum laude. He was also a member of the Legal Studies Honor Society before continuing his education at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. He graduated with the CALI Excellence for the Future Award and Gold Level Pro Bono recognition before beginning his career. ...
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    Star Martinez


    Star Martinez is originally from El Paso, TX. She attended the University of Texas at El Paso and received a bachelors in Communication. She received her legal education at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. In law school, She was president of the Latinx Law Student Association and lead diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is very passionate about being a lawyer in Indiana. She has always been incredibly committed to helping people in underrepresented communities, such as the Latinx ...
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    Tiffany McCoy


    Tiffany McCoy was born and raised in McHenry, Illinois. She graduated from Saint Joseph's College Indiana (SJC) with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. At SJC, Tiffany was an NCAA Division II athlete as a jumper on the track team. Tiffany went on to obtain her law degree from Valparaiso University Law School (VU), where she was an honors program scholar and graduated magna cum laude. While in law school, Tiffany was a national trial advocacy team competitor and also a member ...

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