Do I qualify for post conviction relief and representation?
In a federal case, the application for post-conviction relief must be filed within one year of the written date on the judgment and sentence. If the conviction followed the jury trial, there is virtually no limitation on the grounds for filing for post-conviction relief. If there was a plea of guilty, a defendant may have waived his right to bring post-conviction relief, depending on the jurisdiction. However, many waivers do not contain a waiver of bringing post-conviction relief for ineffective assistance of counsel (having a bad lawyer). One exception to these rules is that a defendant may only get “one bite at the apple,” meaning that if a defendant has already filed an application for a writ of habeas corpus, it is very difficult to get a court to accept a second one, although there are some technical exceptions that can allow that. If the conviction followed a jury trial, the reasons for bringing an application for writ of habeas corpus can include a variety of grounds.
If your conviction was in a state jurisdiction, there are many jurisdictions that also have a time limit within which a defendant must file. However, in the State of Texas, there is no time limit to file for post-conviction relief following a conviction. The grounds in Texas for filing an application for post-conviction relief are usually much broader than the federal system, because, typically, the defendant does not waive the right to bring post-conviction relief at the time of a plea of guilty. As in the federal system, if the conviction followed a jury trial, the grounds for bringing an application for writ of habeas corpus are many and various.