If I was just released from prison and wasnot able to appeal my case due toa stipulated plea, canI do it now?

I was convicted of rape of a child (Class A Felony) stemming from an alleged incident in 1995 when I was 15. I did not commit the crime, nor was I even near the victim or had contact at the time. My attorney did nothing for me during my trial, and even admitted in court to that. The judge said that he did not want to hear anything about a mistrial, and sentenced me. Do I have the ability to appeal now?

Asked on March 16, 2011 under Criminal Law, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation and what happened to you. Generally speaking an appeal of a conviction has to be made within a certain time frame of the date of the conviction.  Those time periods are set by statute under the state's criminal procedural law.  So at this point in time you probably can not appeal the conviction (and based upon what you have written here it seems that you were stopped from doing so with the plea bargain).  The step that I think that you need to take could be one of two: to open up the matter based upon ineffective counsel.  If there is evidence that you are not guilty then that can be addressed then.  Or you can move to vacate the conviction.  But  you really need a lawyer to help with both.  Good luck to you. 

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