How to Get Your Conviction Vacated Under AB 256

Attorney Aaron Spolin

Lead attorney Aaron Spolin has fought and won post-conviction relief for many clients. He is ready to get convictions vacated under AB 256.
  • What is AB 256? – It is a new law that allows California convictions to be overturned if race played a role in the conviction.  It also expands the definition of an inappropriate use of race, and it allows an inmate to compare cases from within a district attorney’s office.
  • When does AB 256 Go Into Effect? – The law begins to go into effect on certain major cases on January 1, 2023 and has a phase-in process after that point.  Inmates in prison are higher priority than convicts out of prison or misdemeanor defendants.

The award-winning criminal appeals lawyer Aaron Spolin is dedicated to achieving fair outcomes for his clients. Some of the steps Spolin Law P.C. will take to help you get your conviction vacated under the Racial Justice Act for All include:

    • Carefully Reviewing the Record — If your conviction was influenced by your race, ethnicity, or national origin, you did not receive a fair sentence. Spolin Law P.C. will sift through thousands of pages of trial transcripts and other documents in your case to point out how your conviction was the product of discrimination.
    • Filing a Thorough Petition — We will develop strategic arguments that support your case and file a petition that seeks to vacate your conviction. We are familiar with historic cases as well as recent laws that apply to AB 256 rationale.
    • Fighting to Get You Released from Prison — Although AB 256 provides a method of obtaining relief, the state will likely fight back against the release of many inmates. That’s where Spolin Law P.C. comes in. We will work to get your conviction vacated and enable you to return home.

The Racial Justice Act for All may potentially allow thousands of people to get out of prison and return to their families. To learn about whether AB 256 can help you or a loved one, contact Spolin Law P.C. at (866) 716-2805.


What Is the Racial Justice Act for All?

Attorney Aaron Spolin discussing with attorney of counsel Matthew Delgado | Spolin Law P.C.

The AB 256 lawyers at Spolin Law P.C. discuss new opportunities for clients under the Racial Justice Act for All.

In 2020, the Racial Justice Act was signed into law. It prohibited convictions and imposition of sentences based on race, ethnicity, or national origin. However, it only applied to cases going forward.

With the recently signed Assembly Bill 256, the Racial Justice Act for All makes that law retroactive. All persons with convictions or judgments prior to January 1, 2021 can petition the court to seek relief if there was racial bias involved in their conviction or sentencing.


How to Prove Racial Bias in a Case

Proving that racial bias was involved in a case was nearly impossible before the Racial Justice Act. A 30-year-old U.S. Supreme Court decision in McCleskey v. Kemp required defendants in criminal cases to show intentional discrimination when challenging their case due to racial bias. However, the Racial Justice Act for All allows everyone to challenge systemic racism in the court system.

The Racial Justice Act expanded civil rights protections for imprisoned Californians. People who have been convicted can present evidence of intentional or systemic bias based on race, ethnicity, or national origin in order to achieve a vacated sentence.

To find out whether racial bias may have influenced your conviction or sentencing, contact Spolin Law P.C. We will review the documents in your case and help you get relief. Call us at (866) 716-2805.


How to File a Petition under AB 256

The first step in getting a conviction vacated under AB 256 is to file a petition with the court that originally sentenced you. Your petition will need to specify exactly what type of bias was involved in your case and how it affected your sentence.

This legal document will need to include a brief summary of what happened in your case as well as well-thought-out arguments that support your claims that racial bias led to your conviction.

Some arguments that can be made include that there was racial, ethnic, or national origin bias involved in:

      • Prosecutorial Misconduct
      • Police Misconduct
      • Juror Misconduct
      • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
      • Trial Court Error

It’s important to present all arguments that are possible. If you fail to list any potential claims, your petition may be dismissed or delayed.

When Can I File a Petition under the Racial Justice Act for All?

The Racial Justice Act for All has a phased-in timeline where certain people may petition the court at intervals.

Anyone convicted or sentenced after the Racial Justice Act of 2020 was signed may file a petition to have their conviction vacated immediately. However, for retroactive relief, the following timeline must be followed:

      • January 1, 2023 — People facing deportation or sentenced to death
      • January 1, 2024 — People incarcerated for a felony
      • January 1, 2025 — Others with a felony conviction after 2015
      • January 1, 2026 — Anyone with a felony conviction

To find out when you may be able to file a petition to vacate your conviction, you should contact the AB 256 attorneys at Spolin Law P.C. at (866) 716-2805.


Why You Need an AB 256 Lawyer on Your Side

Spolin Law P.C. Logo

Spolin Law P.C. has successfully helped many clients get post-conviction relief. Call us at (866) 716-2805 to learn how we can help you too.

The Petition to Vacate a Conviction process under AB 256 will be complex. The law is still evolving, so it’s important to work with an award-winning post-conviction attorney like Aaron Spolin, who will fight to get you relief.

With the best AB 256 lawyer on your side, you can:

      • File a Petition to Vacate Your Sentence — Petitioning the court involved complex legal documents and strategic arguments. Spolin Law P.C. will ensure your case is well supported.
      • Get the Relief You Deserve — If racial bias landed you in prison for years or on death row, you deserve to return home. No one should be convicted based on intentional or systemic discrimination.
      • Clear Your Name and Return to Your Family — Whether you are still imprisoned or on death row, the Racial Justice Act for All allows you the opportunity to change the future. You can get the best outcome possible by working with Spolin Law P.C.

The legal team at Spolin Law P.C. has had great success winning post-conviction relief for many clients. Call us at (866) 716-2805 or reach out online to learn how we can help with your AB 256 case.