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Filing for Post-Conviction Relief In Chicago, Illinois

How Do I File For Post Conviction Relief in Illinois

  1. A Petition for a writ of habeas corpus must be filed within six months of the time that the defendant’s appeal is denied. This is a “hard deadline,” meaning that a late Petition will be automatically denied.
  2. The Petition will state the reasons for which the defendant believes he or she is entitled to post-conviction relief, legal analysis supporting the request, and exhibits (such as affidavits, official documents, etc.) which will serve as evidence.
  3. Illinois prosecutors will file their response within 90 days of the original Petition’s filing.
  4. A hearing date will be set at which the Circuit Judge will hear argument from the attorneys for each side.
  5. The two most likely outcomes at the hearing are that the Judge will set an evidentiary hearing or a denial of the Petition.
  6. An evidentiary hearing is an event where both sides get to call witnesses, offer testimony, and the Judge will issue a ruling at the end of the hearing. The defendant will be the first to offer witnesses since he or she is the one requesting a writ of habeas corpus.
  7. The main witness in such cases is often prior defense counsel, since they are the one who’s performance is being questioned.
  8. After the defendant has presented a case then the Prosecution will be permitted to call witnesses.
  9. At the close of testimony the Judge will often render a decision.


Chicago defendants should hire an experienced attorney when filing for a writ of habeas corpus

Chicago defendants who wish to file for habeas corpus should retain a post-conviction attorney to assist with the conviction petition and everything mentioned in the above steps. It cannot be stressed enough that missing your filing deadline will almost certainly result in your conviction petition being denied. Also, ineffective assistance of counsel is often claimed by defendants and seldom granted by a Judge. It is not enough to simply claim that your last lawyer failed to do their job; you must point to specific instances that are considered “ineffective” under the law and articulate an argument stating how those failures led to your conviction. Experienced counsel can help you in doing this.

I am a former prosecutor with the State Attorney’s Office and have been practicing law for over thirty years. I have extensive experience in handling post-conviction cases and I believe strongly in protecting the rights of the accused. I handle all matters in the office personally which means that your case will get the attention it deserves. Contact my Orland Park office today to speak with a Chicago post-conviction lawyer.

I also handle matters in areas of Cook County including Glenview, Palos Park, Oak Lawn, Oak forest, Blue Island, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Alsip, Bridgeview, Lemont, Orland Hills, Country Club Hills, Hickory Hills, and Tinley Park, in DuPage County areas including Downers Grove, Naperville, Woodridge, and Darien, in Kane County areas including Aurora, Elgin and Geneva, and the Will County cities of Joliet, Bolingbrook, Mokena, Frankfort, New Lenox, Lockport, Homer Glen, Romeoville, and Manhattan.




  • Portia Young

    My nephew was wrongfully convicted of murder. He began serving a 80 year sentense nearly 10 years.ago. He was convicted in Joliet Illinois. To my knowledge, he have been denied at two appeals. We have not given up hope that he will be exonerated. I was told that he need a Writ of Habeas Corpus. At this poinft I don’t have a clue if that’s what he needs but I do know he desperately need help.

    • admin

      Hey Portia,

      Thanks for stopping by. If you haven’t already, please contact our office and we’d be happy to speak to you about this.

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