If you face a conviction for a crime, this does not necessarily mean that you have run out of options. There is an appeal process that you may decide to pursue, depending on your case.
A personal restraint petition is one of the legal options you may have if you can show that your conviction is unlawful and, as a result, you are under restraint of some type.
Definition of restraint
According to the Washington Courts, the court may consider you to be under restraint if you have limited freedom due to a criminal or civil court decision. This may include being in custody, being subject to impending incarceration, being in involuntary confinement in a treatment facility or having some type of disability due to sentencing or judgment.
Examples of unlawful restraint
If you are under restraint, it must also be unlawful. The following are examples of what may constitute unlawful restraint:
- The court did not have jurisdiction
- The sentence or conviction occurred in violation of another law or the Constitution
- There has been a substantial change in the law that applies retroactively
- There is evidence that was not previously presented
- There are other grounds to challenge the conviction or for a collateral attack by the local or state government
One of the possible claims made in a PRP is that there was ineffective counsel because the defense lawyer did not present all the evidence necessary to prove the defendant’s innocence. A defendant must file personal restraint petition within one year of the conviction becoming final. A filing of a PRP may also only occur if other appeal methods are inadequate.