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Rule 32 Petitions PDF Print E-mail

Ralph Ellinwood provides representation in Rule 32 petitions for post-conviction relief in Arizona He has more than 30 years experience in representing clients in Rule 32 litigation.
Mr. Ellinwood has considerable experience as an expert witness in Rule 32 petitions.

What is a Rule 32 petition for post-conviction relief?

Following a conviction and sentencing for a criminal offense, a defendant may file a petition in the trial court under Rule 32 of the Arizona Supreme Court Rules of Criminal Procedure.

A Rule 32 petition is NOT an appeal, and is typically filed after the appeal is final. It is also the only way a defendant can raise claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Why might someone file a Rule 32 Petition?

Rule 32.1 defines in detail the specific reasons why a person may file a petition for post-conviction relief. Below is a summary of a few of those reasons:

  • The conviction or sentence violates the US or Arizona constitution
  • The defendant's lawyer did not provide effective assistance of counsel
  • The court did not have jurisdiction (authority) to determine the case or sentence the defendant
  • The sentence was more than what the law allows
  • The sentence has expired and, yet, the person is still in custody
  • After the trial, the defendant discovered new “material” (important and relevant) evidence that “probably would have changed the verdict or sentence” had the facts been discovered before the trial.
Each of these reasons is described in more detail by Rule 32.1 and related provisions of Rule 32, as well as by case law. This is a complex area of litigation. Having a lawyer with considerable expertise and experience offers the sort of guidance you need to decide whether to file and how to proceed if you do.

Are there deadlines to file a Rule 32 Petition?

A defendant must file a Notice that they will file a Petition for Post-conviction Relief within 90 days from the date of sentencing, or 30 days from the issuance of a mandate (for example, notice from the Court that the appeals process is final).


If you would like to consult with Mr. Ellinwood about whether to file a petition for post-conviction relief, please call or email him.

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