Category Archives: Post-Conviction

NLPA Victory: Keith Johnson

winning-judgment-icon    NLPA is often contacted by defendants and their attorneys in cases where the defendant is seemingly out of time to pursue further relief in his criminal case. The case of State of Ohio v. Keith A. Johnson demonstrates how NLPA can assist counsel in the preparation of research that can overcome seemingly insurmountable procedural obstacles in order to obtain a favorable decision upon the merits of a case.
In Mr. Johnson’s case, the Court of Appeals of Ohio found that the evidence was sufficient to support Mr. Johnson’s convictions for felonious assault and possessing weapons while under a disability. In reaching its decision, the Court of Appeals found that the key witness’s testimony was likely inaccurate. Instead, the Court focused upon Mr. Johnson’s failure to report a crime, a crime for which no charge was issued, in order to find Mr. Johnson guilty of felonious assault and illegal firearm possession. Further, the Court relied upon a scenario for the commission of the crimes that not a single witness testified actually occurred. Court of Appeals Opinion, 11/14/14 at ¶20. Not a single witness witnessed Mr. Johnson possess or discharge a firearm.

NLPA was hired to assist Mr. Johnson in pursuing relief from the decisions of the trial and appellate courts. Mr. Johnson had missed his filing deadline in the Supreme Court of Ohio. Working with Mr. Johnson’s attorney, Alex Kochanowski, NLPA assisted in the preparation of an application to re-open the appeal pursuant to Ohio Appellate Rule 26(b). The application was granted by the Court of Appeals, and on December 18, 2015, the Court of Appeals vacated its prior judgment and reversed the judgment of the trial court. Mr. Johnson will now be able to proceed to a new trial where it is hoped that the truth will serve to vindicate Mr. Johnson.

Critical to the success in Mr. Johnson’s case was NLPA’s understanding of the procedural mechanisms and rules applicable to Ohio criminal proceedings. By reviewing every available procedure under Ohio law, and matching the appropriate procedure with the issues present in Mr. Johnson’s case, NLPA was able to assist in overcoming missed filing deadlines and insuring that a conviction lacking sufficient evidentiary support did not stand.

NLPA’s efforts were greatly appreciated. If you or your client is facing evidentiary difficulties and would like NLPA’s experienced team of attorneys on your side, please contact NLPA.

The bottom line is that just because an individual misses a filing deadline does not mean that he must forego all further attempts to obtain justice. Instead, by carefully reviewing all evidence and every action that has occurred in a case, possible means of challenging an unjust conviction will often come to light. NLPA has been at the forefront of attacking unjust convictions. Should your clients find themselves in similar situations to Mr. Johnson, NLPA stands ready to assist you in the research and preparation of any motions and/or research necessary to assist you in the vigorous defense of your clients.

Did you like this? Share it:
Read More

The Court of Appeals Can Help to Protect Individuals from Wrongful Convictions

nlpa blog 12 3-09-15Whether it might be because of certain problems with evidence or trouble with a lawyer, some people come out of their initial trial feeling as if they have been convicted wrongly of a crime that they didn’t commit. There are many cases throughout history where this has occurred. Luckily, there is now a court of appeals which can give some help to these people.

The court of appeals gives people a second chance of their case being heard in front of an entirely different group of people than the ones for the first court. This appeal can provide new evidence or use a different lawyer to help prove that the sentence given was not one that was fair. This helps to free those who might otherwise have to live with wrongful convictions.

Did you like this? Share it:
Read More

Expunging Convictions After You’ve Served Your Sentence Can Erase Past Mistakes

nlpa blog 6 2-05-15If you make a huge mistake and end up in jail as a result, you would hope that you might be able to pick up the pieces of your life after you get out of jail. Of course, in many cases it can be very difficult for past convicts to actually obtain jobs and even gain housing. This is part of why many people who have been in jail end up back there after release.

The only way to make it so that you will no longer be penalized for past mistakes, is to get them removed from your record. Expunging convictions can take these off of your criminal record so that employers and renters are unable to see them if they run a background check. This can give you a much better chance of being able to get jobs and housing.

Did you like this? Share it:
Read More

The Legal System is Built to Keep Wrongful Convictions to a Minimum

nlpa blog 12 1-07-15In the United States, there is a very clear commitment to justice prevailing in the court of law. There are many individual pieces of doctrine that are meant to prevent undue haste in any case that is presented and others that make it so that people are given a second chance to provide a defense for their case. Defendants have every chance to prove their innocence.

Since the court of appeals exists anyone who feels that they have been treated unfairly or been given the wrong sentence when they finish with going through court the first time gets a chance to return to court again. The hope is that any wrongful convictions can be sorted out in appellate court so that no one is wrongfully imprisoned. Of course, mistakes are sometimes made.

Did you like this? Share it:
Read More

Some Guidelines When It Comes to Expunging Convictions

nlpa blog 11 12-08-14When you get out of prison, life can be a lot more difficult because you have been convicted of a crime. Even though you have done your time, there are a lot of potential employers, landlords, and creditors that will not be open to you because you were convicted. The only way to really get your life back fully is to be able to legally say that you haven’t been convicted.

The only way to clean your record and get rid of the convictions on it is to ask for them to be expunged legally. Expunging convictions can be a tricky business because there are only certain convictions that can be expunged. There is also a timeline for this that requires a certain amount of waiting time between releases from jail and when convictions can be expunged.

Did you like this? Share it:
Read More

Obtaining Early Release from Federal Prison by Different Means

nlpa blog 10 12-08-14Once you are convicted of a crime and sent to prison the amount of time you are given to spend in prison can still vary depending on different things. If you do nothing and just remain in prison, the sentence will likely not change. You will need to actively pursue a reduction in sentence so that you might be able to get reduced earlier than might be planned.

One way to pursue early release is to file paperwork to ask for a reduction in sentence based off of various problems with the case or different circumstances of the case. Later on, you may also request parole as a way of obtaining an early release from federal prison. Whether you get out of prison or not with parole will depend on your behavior inside of prison.

Did you like this? Share it:
Read More

Getting Help with Federal Appeals Briefs

nlpa blog 7 11-10-14During the process of an appeal there is a lot of legal paperwork that must be handled to make sure that you are able to have the appeal go smoothly. Getting everything prepared ahead of time will ensure that your council is able to produce a compelling argument. Since there are many pieces that go into an appeal it is most important that you get all of these worked out.

Having help to make it so that your council will be prepared with all of the proper paperwork and quality federal appeals briefs can be a good first step to making your appeal better. The NLPA can help your council every step of the way by preparing briefs and giving assistance with preparations for oral arguments. This will help make your appeal stronger.

Did you like this? Share it:
Read More

Expunging Convictions Minimizes Negative Consequences

nlpa blog 6 11-10-14From the moment a crime is committed to the moment that you complete serving your sentence for a crime it makes sense that negative consequences are faced. When you are first arrested, your rights to do what you want and go where you want are removed temporarily. After being convicted of a crime, you may be sent to prison and have your freedom removed.

When you get out of prison after serving your time, you might think that is the end of the negative consequences you will face. Unfortunately, having a criminal record makes it so that you are not employable by many companies and may have trouble renting an apartment. The only way to get rid of these consequences is by expunging convictions that are on your record through legal avenues.

Did you like this? Share it:
Read More

After the Trial There is Hope Case Study Research Can Help You

nlpa blog 4 10-08-14After sentencing is over and you find yourself placed in jail for punishment, it may seem as though there is nothing else that you can do to make it so you don’t have to serve the time you’ve been given. Luckily for you, there are many avenues that you still have available to earn your freedom. Convictions can be overturned in appeal or sentences may be reduced.

It is important to spend time with a lawyer preparing an appeal and making sure every aspect of your case has been looked over carefully. Careful case study research can help discover information that can help you in the appeal to come. Armed with information about your case and other cases like it, a lawyer can help make your appeal really count.

Did you like this? Share it:
Read More

Leaving Brief Writing to Those Who Know What They’re Doing

nlpa blog 2 10-08-14The majority of people in America have probably never written a brief before. This is partly because many of them have never needed to have one and partly because they are complicated and difficult to write and must be done a certain way to be professional. When you want a brief asking for an appeal, you need to make sure it sounds as professional as possible.

The best way to do this is to hire an actual professional to do all of the brief writing for you. This is the only way to guarantee that your brief is written in the way that the courts want it to be written. It will present the most important information and help make the process going forward a lot simpler. Having a professionally written brief is a real help in court.

Did you like this? Share it:
Read More