Post-Conviction Petition

A petition for post-conviction relief is a collateral attack that challenges a conviction based on matters not in the trial record.   These matters might relate to newly discovered evidence or ineffective assistance of counsel and usually require investigation. In general, a petition for post-conviction relief must be filed within 365 days of the filing of the transcript or the date the Notice of Appeal should have been filed.

Ohio Revised Code

Post-conviction relief is governed 365 days by R.C. 2953.21, 2953.22, and 2953.23. Generally, a defendant can challenge a conviction in a post-conviction petition where there “was such a denial or infringement of the person’s rights as to render the judgment void or voidable under the Ohio Constitution or the Constitution of the United States…”  O.R.C. 2923.21(A)(1)(a).  This is a general standard and challenges to convictions based on newly discovered evidence, witness recantations, and ineffective assistance of counsel have been brought under these sections. Post-conviction can also be filed to claim “actual innocence” based on DNA testing.

Appeal of Post-Conviction Matters

If a trial court denies a petition for post-conviction relief, a defendant can appeal the denial to the court of appeals.  The process then proceeds like a direct appeal.


A direct appeal challenges a conviction based on errors at trial. A Post-Conviction Petition challenges a conviction because critical evidence was not in the record at trial. Because Appeal and Post-Conviction attack the conviction from different angles, they should be pursued simultaneously. Also, an appeal can take 9 – 12 months to resolve and a Post-Conviction Petition must be filed within 12 months of the Notice of Appeal. If post-conviction remedies are not timely investigated, time may run out.

Strict time limits exist for filing a Petition for Post-conviction Relief. Call Harris Law Firm today to schedule your Post-Conviction consultation.