Tennessee Post-Conviction

Tennessee is unique in that defendants are entitled to a post-conviction hearing if they ask for one. You are entitled to an appointed attorney if you file a pro se post-conviction motion in Tennessee. Many states do not allow this type of protection. 

Like many states, Tennessee requires that you file your post-conviction petition within one year of your conviction becoming final. There are a few rare exceptions, but as a general principle, you should push to either hire or get an appointed post-conviction attorney if you want post-conviction representation. 

While you are entitled to a post-conviction hearing, it is still advisable to heed your attorney’s input on your case because of the risks involved in officially proceeding with a post-conviction petition and a hearing.

If you succeed in overturning your plea or your trial verdict, it is possible for you to receive a worse sentence than that to which you pled or were found guilty. The reason is you are essentially succeeding in “resetting” your case back to zero. This means the district attorney can then re-prosecute the case however he or she sees fit. 

If, however, your attorney sees significant enough problems with your trial verdict or your guilty plea, odds are that if you are successful in vacating your plea or getting a new trial, your attorney will be able to work out a better sentence (or in rare cases an outright dismissal) than what you had before.

If you are in need of Tennessee post-conviction representation, fill out our intake form. Questions? Contact us.