wrongful conviction lawyers phoenix

It’s one thing to face wrongful accusations for crimes you didn’t commit, but facing a wrongful conviction case is an even bigger problem. If you are accused of a crime, you still have the chance to defend yourself in court to avoid a conviction. If you are wrongfully convicted, however, this is a huge negative that may impact your life for years to come. Those facing wrongful conviction cases should take action and speak with experienced wrongful conviction lawyers as soon as possible.

At Ybarra Maldonado Law Group, our Phoenix criminal defense lawyers have a great track record of success defending wrongfully convicted individuals. Our law firm truly cares about the needs of the people and families we serve, which is why we use the criminal justice system to help exonerate victims of these incidents. If you are a wrongfully convicted man or woman in need of a compassionate attorney, we’re here for you. To schedule a consultation with our wrongful conviction attorneys, please call our legal team today at 602-910-4040.

What Is a Wrongful Conviction?

According to the National Institute of Justice, in order for a person to have a wrongful conviction case, they must be able to prove two crucial elements. First, that person must be factually innocent of the charges against them. Second, procedural errors occurred, which violated that person’s civil rights. Wrongful conviction often leads to wrongful imprisonment, which can strip a person of years, even decades, of their life. Those who have suffered from wrongful conviction and imprisonment deserve justice. We’re here to give them the tools and support they need to fight for it.

Examples of Wrongful Convictions

phoenix wrongful conviction lawyers

Post-conviction DNA testing is one of the many ways in which victims of wrongful conviction and false imprisonment can seek justice. In recent years, the discoveries of wrongful conviction cases have surged. This is made possible by advancements in DNA technology and testing. For example, we can now use certain forms of forensic evidence that were previously deemed inconclusive. In many of these cases, technological advancements have allowed wrongfully convicted people to be exonerated by exculpatory evidence.

Unfortunately, a wrongful conviction can happen to anyone. And when it does, it can completely ruin the rest of someone’s life. Below, we outline two of the most notorious wrongful conviction cases in recent years.

  • The Central Park Five: Perhaps the most notorious of all, the Central Park Five case involved the wrongful convictions and incarcerations of five men of color. They were accused of sexually assaulting a woman who was jogging in NYC’s Central Park. These five young men spent many years in prison before they were finally exonerated of a crime they never committed.
  • Leon and Henry McCollum: After being interrogated for hours without an attorney, the two brothers were wrongfully charged with the death of an 11-year-old child. This case is a prime example of how police misconduct can ruin someone’s life. After more than three decades in prison, the brothers were exonerated by DNA evidence.

Why Are People Wrongfully Convicted?

There are several ways in which wrongful convictions can come about. According to the Korey Wise Innocence Project, the following are some of the most common factors in wrongful conviction cases.

  • False or coerced confessions: Approximately 12% of wrongful convictions involve false confessions. In some cases, police officers intimidate or threaten suspects until they confess to crimes they didn’t commit. Additionally, certain techniques of interrogation can be very persuasive psychologically. They may also make promises to a defendant in order to draw out a confession.
  • Police misconduct: Approximately 54% of wrongful convictions involve misconduct by prosecutors, law enforcement officers, or government officials. Misconduct can be present in nearly any stage of a criminal case, including investigations.
  • Witness misidentification: Eyewitness misidentification is involved in around 28% of wrongful conviction cases. Humans are not perfect, and neither are their memories. It is also possible to have a suspect lineup that steers witnesses toward a particular person.
  • Bad forensic evidence: Although modern forensic and DNA technology allows us to exonerate those wrongfully convicted of a crime, false and misleading evidence has contributed to around 24% of wrongful convictions. Examiners of forensic evidence can and do make mistakes. These mistakes can be devastating for criminal defendants.
  • Perjury during testimonies: Around 60% of wrongful conviction cases involve perjury or false accusations. In many cases, witnesses will lie on the stand in exchange for a favor or benefit of some kind. In other words, they are incentivized to lie.

Compensation for a Wrongful Conviction

Those who have been wrongfully convicted may be able to seek financial compensation in a civil lawsuit. The federal government allows for up to $50,000 in compensation for each year of wrongful incarceration. Many states have similar laws, but some states offer higher or lower amounts of compensation for wrongful convictions.

In order to qualify for this compensation, you must be able to prove two elements. First, you must have been convicted of a felony and not a misdemeanor. Second, you must have served time in a state prison rather than a county jail. We strongly recommend working with a skilled wrongful conviction lawyer for your case.

In a wrongful conviction lawsuit, you will need to show that, by a preponderance of the evidence, you did not commit the crime you were convicted of. You must also prove that you were in no way an accessory or an accomplice to the crime. Those eligible for exoneration also cannot have acted in a way that would have contributed to their own conviction or arrest. If you want to pursue justice for the wrongs that you have endured, speak with our talented wrongful conviction attorneys as soon as possible.

Defenses Against Wrongful Conviction Cases

wrongful conviction lawyers

One of the most common defenses against wrongful convictions is having inadequate legal counsel. Many defense attorneys, particularly public defenders, are overburdened with cases. This leaves them very little time to spend investigating each case thoroughly. Although it is often not the public defender’s fault that they are overworked and overburdened, it is still possible for them to make egregious mistakes while defending their client. If you were wrongfully convicted, you can seek maximum compensation with the help of an experienced civil rights attorney.

What Should I Do if I Am Wrongfully Convicted in Phoenix?

If you were wrongfully convicted of a crime in Phoenix, AZ, you deserve to achieve justice in your case. A wrongful conviction lawyer with Ybarra Maldonado Law Group will fight tooth and nail to exonerate you. We will explain all of your legal options, help you gather evidence to support your claim, and ensure that you receive justice for the time you spent in prison.

Contact a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney

Our Phoenix criminal defense lawyers at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group are incredibly passionate about our work. From start to finish, our attorneys work hard to make sure that your voice is heard and that your story is told. Due to the mistakes or misconduct of others, you have been wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for a crime you never committed. We can help you recover your rights, your freedom, and your reputation. If you or someone you love has been wrongfully convicted, please contact our Phoenix law office today at 602-910-4040.


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Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado, Esq.

Founder & Principal Attorney
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Brett Turley, Esq.

Senior Criminal Defense Associate Attorney
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Zachary William Rivera Weiss

Immigration Attorney
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