Where Do I File A Rule 32 Petition?


Typically the Rule 32 petition is going to be filed with the superior court. Here, it’ll be assigned to a judge to oversee the collection of transcripts, paperwork, and transition of a file from the court-appointed defense attorney who typically handles these types of things. After reviewing everything, if that attorney decides that a petition needs to be filed for post-conviction, they can file the petition. That petition will typically be reviewed, and then potentially go up to the appeals court, where a ruling can be made to open up the case again or throw out the conviction. There are all types of relief that’s available at that time, dependent on the outcome of the review.

What Issues Can Be Raised In The Rule 32 Petition?

The issues that can be raised in a Rule 32 petition come down to three criteria. The first is that your defense counsel was ineffective, and didn’t properly evaluate, defend, or investigate your case to the best of their ability. This typically has to have some egregious conduct, not just that something that the defendant would have liked to have done and didn’t. It has to be something that has impacted the sentence received or impacted the deal that was made. This is similar to the second option, which is newly discovered evidence. If you didn’t have evidence that could have exonerated you, or limited your exposure prior to taking a plea, then you could be in a worse situation than if you had, so that can typically get relief. The last criteria is a significant change in the law that would have had a significant impact on the way you defended your case or argued your case, and then chose the plea because of that.

When Can We File The Rule 32 Petition?

The most important timeline is that the request to file the petition has to be filed within 90 days of sentencing. Then a review occurs, which is overseen by a judge, who will set certain deadlines and certain dates for the collection and filing of transcripts, and then ultimately deadlines for the new attorney to review the file. If that new attorney does feel like there are grounds to seek relief, they’ll be given a deadline. The process to file for that relief can take quite some time. For those people that are in custody awaiting results on this, it can be a lengthy process to completely review everything that took place in the case, then for an attorney to determine that something improper happened, or that new evidence was discovered, or there was subset of law that changed and it had an impact on the case. All of this has to be evaluated, then submitted to the court.

The attorney then reviews everything. If he does not feel like there is a basis for a petition, then the defendant sometimes will request to be proffered and do his or her own review of the case. The judge will typically allow them some additional time to do that before they completely deny the petition. It can take quite a bit of time, and there is quite a bit of work and research that goes into determining whether a petition’s going to be successful, and how far it can go down the line in the review process.

What Happens After Someone Files A Rule 32 Petition?

After you file a Rule 32 petition, you’re going to be in another court, because the appeals court is going to be reviewing the case. It’s the same type of evaluation based on what the attorney has presented, reviewing the records, and reviewing the precedents to see the basis of the petition is valid or not. If the petition is denied, there is the option to seek relief from the Supreme Court, much like any other petition. If it’s granted, then most of the times, what happens is the original charges in the indictment or in the criminal complaint are reinstated, and you’re back in front of the trial court where the state can either negotiate a new plea agreement with you or set up for trial. Those are the typical things that we see when the release is granted.

Additional Information Regarding The Rule 32 Petition In Arizona

Rule 32 petitions are very specific and limited tools for people to use. Every judge would tell every defendant when they take a plea agreement, that to get out of the plea agreement once it’s accepted, even prior to sentencing, you have to show that a manifest in justice occurred in your case. That’s not just something that you didn’t like, something that you thought should be done differently, but that’s truly an injustice that changed the decision-making process, the potential result, or the potential exposure in your case. They’re looking for ineffective assistance, evidence that wasn’t disclosed, and maybe down the lines on that conviction, a change in the law.

The important idea to remember is that its significant behavior, not just I feel bad that I took this plea and changed my mind now, and I now I want out of it. That’s not going to rise to the level of post-conviction release under Rule 32.

For more information on Filing A Rule 32 Petition In Arizona, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (602) 456-1982 today.

Jared Allen, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (602) 456-1982.

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