Wrongful convictions can be common in Utah for multiple reasons. Interrogations are not typically recorded in Utah, and there are statutory post-conviction provisions allowing DNA evidence to be revisited after a criminal case has been decided.
The path ahead may be uncertain for someone who has been released from jail on the basis of a wrongful conviction. Finding a job and reintegrating into a previous routine can be difficult. You served jail time, and nothing in life has been the same after the criminal conviction. However, there may be causes for action or lawsuits that can be pursued to seek legal remedies and financial compensation in wrongful conviction cases. There may not be laws designed to define the cause of action, but there are existing statutes that can be applied to wrongful convictions. An experienced criminal law practitioner can help you pursue lawsuits or causes of action.
If you or a family member have been subjected to a wrongful conviction, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney today. You may have served years of jail time and have abysmal job prospects, and your good name may have been been irreparably damaged. The team of professionals at the law firm of attorney Darwin Overson are compassionate and stand ready to fight for your rights. Even if you feel there is no one available to help you at this trying time, consider that there may be viable options to seek compensation for your losses. To schedule your free legal consultation, call us at (801) 516-0464.
Overview of Wrongful Convictions in Salt Lake City Utah
There are multiple factors involved in the determination of a wrongful conviction. Sometimes there are civil rights violations during the investigation, such as compelling a false confession or failing to disclose exculpatory evidence. Many of these situations involve police or prosecutorial misconduct that led to a conviction. Wrongful convictions due to the misconduct of government officials is considered a severe problem in Salt Lake City. A Conviction Integrity Unit has been opened in Utah to determine if misconduct has led to recent exonerations.
There are a few remedies available to individuals who have been wrongfully convicted. They can request that their record be expunged. Also, Utah law provides some degree of financial recovery for individuals who have been wrongfully convicted. A petition has to be filed with the Utah Office for Victims of Crime to request payment for a wrongful conviction.
Recovering Compensation for a Wrongful Conviction in Utah
There are some monetary remedies available to someone who has been wrongfully convicted in Utah. Judgment and assistance payments are provided under Utah Code § 78B-9-405, establishing that individuals who have been wrongfully convicted can receive payment for each year or portion of a year when the petitioner was incarcerated, up to a maximum of 15 years. The payment amount is based on the monetary equivalent of the average annual nonagricultural payroll wage in Utah. The assistance is a flat amount that is decided the year of release. It’s unlikely to be an amount that will make the wrongfully convicted individual feel whole. There are no considerations as to the person’s age, medical needs, or job status in making the determination of the amount of financial assistance.
While this payment may give you some financial relief, it may not be sufficient to compensate you for the personal and economic losses you have received after being wrongfully accused and convicted of a crime. At this point, you likely have massive personal losses, having missed crucial milestones in the lives of your family and career opportunities. If this is your situation, you may want to talk to an attorney who can help you pursue compensation for your losses.
Filing a Lawsuit for Wrongful Conviction in Salt Lake City, Utah
If you have been released from jail due to a clear and convincing finding that you were wrongfully convicted, you should talk to an attorney who can help you determine what causes of action can be pursued. While there is no specific cause of action or statutes designed to address the errors leading to wrongful convictions in Utah, there are various well-founded theories of law that can be pursued in these cases depending on the circumstances. In addition, Utah has recognized lawsuits against cities that allow police and other employees to engage in pervasive misconduct.
The problem is that the victims often have no closure when there are miscarriages of justice. When an environment of prosecutorial misconduct is allowed to flourish, robust post-conviction remedies can lead to your release, but accountability should be sought in the event that there was misconduct at the root of the conviction. Here are some common legal bases for lawsuits related to police or prosecutorial misconduct:
- Civil rights and other constitutional violations
- Intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress
- Abuse of process
- Ineffective assistance of counsel
- False imprisonment
If successful, the causes of action above can lead to significant financial compensation. Compensation can include legal fees, emotional losses, financial losses, and punitive damages.
Call an Attorney for Wrongful Convictions in Salt Lake City, Utah
Attorney Darwin Overson is an accomplished litigator with significant experience in constitutional and criminal law. Overson Law can help you explore options to determine what causes of action can be pursued. Darwin Overson is known for his unwavering commitment to seeking redress of injustices. He will provide reliable legal representation. Call us at (801) 516-0464 to schedule a free consultation.