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IN a Post-Conviction Relief motion you are claiming that you were were wrongfully convicted and that your constitutional rights were violated. The violation could have occurred at any phase of the criminal proceeding against you including during the investigation, arrest, pre-trial, plea hearing, trial and sentencing. You typically have only five years to bring your motion, but time may be extended under certain exceptions. You must allege any of the following
- Denial of a Federal or New Jersey constitutional right;
- The court lacked the jurisdiction to sentence you;
- Your sentence was excessive and did not adhere to the law under which sentence was imposed;
- Any other grounds for a collateral attack upon your conviction by habeas corpus or any other common-law or statutory remedy.
Some examples of a consitutional violation include:
- Prosecutorial misconduct–failure to provide your criminal defense attorney with evidence that is considered exculpatory;
- Juror misconduct–a juror failed to reveal he or she knew you, was biased against you, or lied about his or her own criminal record, or conducted an independent investigation;
- Your attorney failed to advise you of a substantial conflict of interest in representing you; or
- Ineffective assistance of counsel–Your attorney handled your defense in a particularly egregious fashion.