The process of obtaining post-conviction relief can be quite complex. A skilled attorney whose practice emphasizes post-conviction work would be best suited to represent you. An attorney that practices in this area should be familiar with all the standards and rules that govern post-conviction hearings.
Starting out - Using the correct form.
You must use the form Crim. P. 35(c) motion issued by the State. It is important to fill out the form correctly. The better you can follow the directions, the easier it will be for the court to figure out what you are asking for. The following link takes you to the Colorado Courts' website where you can find the Crim. P. 35(c) form that must be used when filing for postconviction relief. Copy and past it into your web browser: http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=160
File before the deadline
Don't delay filing your motion for post-conviction relief. For most felonies in Colorado, there is a 3-year time limit to file a challenge to the conviction. The clock starts ticking the day sentence is imposed, or if there was a direct appeal, within 3 years of the date the appeal was finished. There are a few exceptions to the 3-year deadline, but it is better to file sooner rather than hope to fit in under an exception.
Answering Paragraph 8
In your answer to paragraph 8 of the form motion, you need to discuss facts that are not in the record. Let us say your are alleging ineffective assistance of counsel due to failure to call a necessary witness. It is important to explain how counsel knew or should have known about the witness. Did you tell counsel about the witness? Was the witness mentioned in discovery? Why was the witness important? What would the witness have said if they had been called to testify? How would that testimony have helped your case? None of this information will be in the record. Thus, the court should not deny your Crim. P. 35(c) motion without giving you a hearing.
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