December 28, 2023 In Post Conviction

How to Get Your Conviction Vacated Under AB 256: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction to AB 256: The Racial Justice Act for All

AB 256, a pivotal law in California’s justice system, marks a significant step forward in addressing racial biases in legal proceedings. This law, effective from January 1, 2023, allows for the overturning of convictions if race played a role in the conviction process. It broadens the scope of what constitutes inappropriate use of race in legal judgments and enables comparisons of cases within a district attorney’s office.

Understanding AB 256’s Impact and Timeline

The law’s implementation follows a phased approach, prioritizing cases involving inmates in prison over those of convicts out of prison or misdemeanor defendants.

The Process: Vacating Convictions under AB 256

  1. Reviewing the Record: To determine if racial bias influenced your conviction, a thorough examination of trial transcripts and other case documents is essential. This step is crucial in identifying any discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or national origin.
  2. Filing a Petition: A comprehensive petition is key to challenging a conviction under AB 256. This involves crafting strategic legal arguments supported by relevant case law and recent legislative developments.
  3. Advocating for Release: The state may contest many requests for release under AB 256. Effective legal representation is vital in advocating for the vacation of your conviction and securing your freedom.

Understanding the Racial Justice Act for All

Initially signed in 2020, the Racial Justice Act prohibited convictions and sentences based on race, ethnicity, or national origin. AB 256 extends these protections retroactively, covering cases before January 1, 2021.

Proving Racial Bias in Your Case

The challenge of proving racial bias has been significantly reduced with AB 256. Under the Racial Justice Act for All, individuals can now present evidence of intentional or systemic bias to seek a vacated sentence.

Filing a Petition under AB 256

To initiate the process, you must file a petition with the sentencing court. This petition should detail the type of bias involved and its impact on your sentence, backed by strong legal arguments and evidence.

Timeline for Filing a Petition

AB 256 introduces a staggered timeline for different groups:

  • January 1, 2023: For individuals facing deportation or sentenced to death.
  • January 1, 2024: For those incarcerated for a felony.
  • January 1, 2025: For others with a felony conviction post-2015.
  • January 1, 2026: For anyone with a felony conviction.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Navigating the complexities of AB 256 requires specialized legal expertise. A skilled attorney can guide you through the process, from filing a petition to achieving the best possible outcome. They can help you clear your name and reunite with your family, ensuring justice is served.



Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For personalized guidance and representation in matters related to AB 256, contact The Mines Law Firm.