Skip to main content

Rule 32 Petitions

Pursuing Justice Beyond the Verdict

If you or someone close to you has been found guilty of a crime and sentenced to prison, don’t lose hope. No matter how long it’s been since the ruling, we are prepared to assist in your pursuit of freedom.

We have the experience and expertise to dig into the details of your case to identify issues other attorneys may have overlooked and build strong arguments that could lead to a second chance at justice.

Our Approach to Rule 32 Petitions

In most criminal cases, there comes a point when you’ve tried everything and hiring another lawyer won’t make a difference.

Our case review process is designed to provide you with a clear understanding of where you stand with your case, so you can make smart decisions about what to do next.

If we determine that moving forward with an appeal makes sense, you can trust us to be by your side every step of the way, providing you with guidance and support when you need it.

We are committed to your well-being and identifying a resolution that gives you a sense of closure and peace of mind so you can confidently step into the next phase of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Rule 32 petition?

A “Rule 32 petition” is a petition that people can file to challenge their conviction in court where they were convicted. It’s called a “Rule 32 petition” because it’s filed under Rule 32 of the Alabama Rules of Criminal Procedure. Generally speaking, someone would use a Rule 32 petition to attack their conviction once they’ve been convicted and once their appeals have gone final. A Rule 32 petition is how someone can get back into court.

Where do we file a Rule 32 petition?

We would file your Rule 32 petition in the circuit court where you were originally convicted of your crime.

What can we raise in a Rule 32 petition?

The most common issue raised in a Rule 32 petition involves claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. If your trial counsel did a terrible job representing you at trial, we would file a Rule 32 petition and would explain to the court how your trial attorney did a terrible job and why this should entitle you to relief.

If there’s newly-discovered evidence in your case, or if there has been a change in the law in your favor, we can file a Rule 32 petition and explain to the court how this evidence shows that your conviction should be thrown out.

Additionally, if there is a change in the law that could help you, we can file a Rule 32 petition and ask that the change in law be applied to your case.

When can we file a Rule 32 petition?

Rule 32 petitions are usually filed once you’ve exhausted your appeals in the Alabama appellate courts. We generally must file a Rule 32 petition within one year of the date on which a certificate of judgment was issued in your appellate cases. (A certificate of judgment is a document that basically says, ‘Your case became final on this date.’) So, if the Alabama Supreme Court entered a certificate of judgment on your appeal on January 1, 2023, we would have until January 1, 2024 to file a timely Rule 32 petition.

If we want to file a Rule 32 petition based upon newly-discovered evidence, we must file the petition within six months of discovering the new evidence. So even if your case is really old, if we find new evidence and we file a petition within six months of its discovery, we will have filed a timely petition under the rules.

Filing within these deadlines keeps the State from arguing that our petition is time-barred or untimely, which gives the court an easy grounds to deny us. But a Rule 32 petition raising important issues can technically be filed at any time. It’s just harder to win outside that first year.

What happens after we file a Rule 32 petition?

After we file our Rule 32 petition, the State of Alabama will have a chance to respond to the petition. If the court thinks we have presented an issue that needs further consideration, the court may order an evidentiary hearing on the questions we’ve presented. We will go back into court to present evidence, call witnesses, or do whatever is necessary to show the court that you are entitled to relief.

What if our petition is denied? Can we appeal the denial?

Yes. If the trial court denies our Rule 32 petition, we can appeal that denial to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.

Start the Conversation

We are here to fight for you. Call us today so we can talk about your situation and explore your options.