There are two broad categories of justifications for challenging a conviction as incorrect. The first is that the accused individual was never guilty of the crimes for which they were convicted. Second, the accused had their constitutional rights violated because of flaws in the court’s procedures. Consider the following case: A person wrongfully convicted of a crime may spend years, even decades, behind bars before their innocence is established. It is only reasonable that you receive some sort of compensation for the years you were wrongfully incarcerated.
In This Article:
- Is It Possible to Seek Compensation After a Wrongful Conviction?
- Who May Receive Compensation?
- Determining Compensation Amount
- How Much Money Can I Expect to Receive?
- What Can Impact Your Claim?
- Call High Rise Financial for Risk-Free Lawsuit Funding Today!
To apply for free, call (877) 735-0016
Is It Possible to Seek Compensation After a Wrongful Conviction?
There are laws in place at the federal level and in thirty states that mandate compensation for those who were falsely convicted. The federal government pays an annual stipend of $50,000 to those who are serving time in prison and an annual stipend of $100,000 to those who are on death row. A person convicted in California can be fined no more than $100 per day. In Florida, regardless of how long a person is incarcerated, the maximum amount they may get is $2,000,000, or $50,000 per year.
However, Florida residents can also take advantage of 120 free credit hours at a state university. The Innocence Project reports that the following states have no restitution laws: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
Those who were unfairly convicted in these states may still pursue civil lawsuits. State courts would still hear claims of wrongful conviction, and exonerees might petition their governments for private compensation laws.
Who May Receive Compensation?
The criteria that must be met to be eligible for compensation following an unjust conviction might differ from state to state. In most cases, a wrongful conviction victim seeking financial restitution must prove that they were:
Convicted Of a Felony
The claimant must have been convicted of a felony, not a misdemeanor, to be eligible for compensation. Crimes classified as misdemeanors carry a sentence of up to one year in prison but are often not taken very seriously. A felony is a more serious offense that usually carries a jail sentence of more than one year. Many crimes can be categorized as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
The value of stolen goods or the extent to which property is destroyed can be used to determine whether a crime is classified as a felony or a misdemeanor when it involves property. The severity of the victim’s injuries usually determines whether or not a crime committed against them is classified as a felony.
Confined To a State Prison
In most cases, a sentence for a misdemeanor will be carried out in a county jail. To be eligible for restitution after a wrongful conviction, the defendant must have been housed in a state prison rather than a county jail.
Determining Compensation Amount
If an individual proves a wrongful conviction claim and is awarded damages, the amount will be assessed like other civil cases. Damages are normally paid from the date of conviction to the end of incarceration, however, they can be granted for damage incurred beyond that as well. In some circumstances, the courts will simply use the statutory formula to determine an appropriate amount of compensation for the affected party.
The laws governing the calculation of damages are different in every state since each legislature has devised its standards and constraints. Damages that can be compensated for include lost wages, medical issues brought on by incarceration, and emotional distress from factors like isolation, loss of privacy, restricted freedom, separation from loved ones, condemnation, and disruption of personal relationships and image.
Some courts have gone further and awarded attorneys’ fees in statutory wrongful imprisonment cases, while others have ruled that such expenses do not go toward the total compensation. In states where this law does not exist, an individual’s chances of recovering from an addiction are significantly reduced. Standardization is challenging even in jurisdictions with such legislation. However, compensation is often offered to help right the injustice of unfair incarceration.
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How Much Money can I Expect to Receive?
As was noted earlier, the amount of compensation that you are eligible to receive depends on the state in which you were wrongfully convicted and the rules that are in place to compensate for such a conviction. In those states where compensation is capped, the total amount awarded cannot go beyond $10,000.
In addition, it varies from state to state, but in certain cases, you might get as much as $100 for every day you were unfairly incarcerated for. Compensation is seen differently by each state, with some including it in their taxable gross income and others not.
What Can Impact Your Claim?
It’s possible that you won’t be able to collect damages in some states for the following reasons:
- A false confession or guilty plea may disqualify you from receiving compensation in areas like California, the District of Columbia, and Iowa.
- If you have any past felony convictions in Florida, regardless of whether or not they are linked to your false conviction, you will not be eligible for compensation.
In some states, you can lose all rights to compensation if you are subsequently convicted of a separate offense. Also In states like Alabama, you can only get compensation if the legislature explicitly authorizes your claim.
Call High Rise Financial for Risk-Free Lawsuit Funding Today!
If you need cash advance to achieve financial stability after a wrongful imprisonment or before your case concludes, call us at High Rise Financial today. You can reach out to us on (866) 407-6404 to start your application for a wrongful imprisonment lawsuit loan.