Wrongful Conviction Lawyers for Cases Across the United States
We fight for victims of a failed system – and get results. When you’re a victim of a wrongful conviction, years can be taken from you. We fight for restitution to help you put the pieces of your life back together.
A nationwide focus. We consider wrongful conviction cases all over the country. Our attorneys are admitted to practice in Ohio, Kentucky, and New York, but we team up with local co-counsel to bring cases anywhere.
What sets Cooper Elliott apart from other organizations that help the wrongfully convicted?
Experience, knowledge, and tenacity
You deserve justice. Our professional wrongful conviction attorneys understand that you’ve experienced not only a loss of time during your wrongful imprisonment, but high levels of stress, pain, and suffering as well. We can help you get the justice you deserve.
We consider wrongful conviction cases all over the country. Our attorneys are admitted to practice in Ohio, Kentucky, New York, and Virginia but we team up with local co-counsel to bring cases anywhere.
Track record of success
Our wrongful imprisonment attorneys get you the compensation you deserve for the time and energy you lost while you were unjustly imprisoned- along with the pain and suffering you experienced.
Wrongful conviction case results that speak for themselves.
maximum statutory damages plus additional recovery for exoneree who served over twenty years wrongfully convicted of murder
maximum statutory damages plus additional recoveries for two exonerees who served 10 years wrongfully convicted of child sex abuse
maximum statutory damages plus additional recovery for exonoree who served 4 years falsely accused and convicted of assault.
maximum insurance limits settlement for exoneree whose deficient legal defense led to wrongful conviction before reversal after 2 years.
*The outcome of any client’s case will depend on the particular legal and factual circumstances of the case.
Our Wrongful Imprisonment Attorneys Believe You Deserve Justice
Tell us what happened. We’ll take it from there.
People who have been wrongly convicted have lived a nightmare. They have been unjustly victimized, and deserve assistance returning to their communities and compensation to help create the life they should have had. We look at every angle, including statutory wrongful conviction claims, civil rights cases, and criminal legal malpractice. Our wrongful conviction lawyers are here to help you get your life back.
Unfortunately, victims of wrongful imprisonment may be further maligned by the very police and prosecutors who wrongly convicted them initially. At Cooper Elliott, we take time to develop strong relationships with our clients so that we fully know how the wrongful conviction affected them, and so we can obtain meaningful results.
Take the first step toward justice by contacting our offices for a free consultation. Here’s how the process usually works:
Share your story and how the wrongful conviction has affected your life at your initial consultation. Our wrongful conviction attorneys listen to you and take note of how your wrongful conviction has negatively impacted your life.
WE INVESTIGATE YOUR CLAIM
We work to understand the evidence leading to exoneration and the reasons for the wrongful conviction, like new DNA or forensic evidence, witness recantation, or misconduct by investigators or other government actors. This helps us build the strongest wrongful conviction case possible.
WE WORK WITH EXPERTS
Forensic scientists, DNA experts, private investigators, and other experts can help explain what happened and why. This allows us to present professional testimony in your wrongful conviction case.
WE HANDLE ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR CASE
You can rely on our experience at every step, from filing court documents to trying your case in front of a judge or jury. Our wrongful conviction attorneys handle your entire case, so you don’t have to worry.
WE STAND BY YOU
No matter what you need to get your life on track, we can help. We use our contacts to connect our clients with resources to help with exoneree needs beyond legal representation.
WE FIND CREATIVE SOLUTIONS
We fight to recover fair compensation for your wrongful conviction. Where appropriate, we can also look for ways to accomplish goals besides recovering money. Some settlements include apologies, policy changes, or something else important to you.
Why Do Wrongful Convictions Happen?
Wrongful convictions happen for a variety of reasons: eyewitness misidentification, false or coerced confessions or admissions, ineffective assistance of counsel or legal malpractice, invalid scientific testimony, or misconduct by police officers and forensic investigators, just to name a few. Some wrongful convictions occur because of honest mistakes, while others occur because police, forensic investigators, or prosecutors are more interested in getting a conviction and closing a case than finding the truth.
The result is the same: people are torn from their families, lives are destroyed, and years are lost that can never be reclaimed. The harm can’t be undone, but just as a wrongfully convicted person deserves freedom, they also deserve to be compensated for what’s been taken.
The federal government, the District of Columbia, and more than 30 states have compensation statutes that provide payment to people who have been exonerated. A wrongfully convicted person also may have a claim under federal law for the violation of his or her constitutional rights.
Frequently Asked Questions For Organizations That Help Wrongfully Convicted Individuals
How many people have been wrongly convicted in the U.S.?
No one really knows for certain. As of early 2022, the National Registry of Exonerations counts 3,000 and nearly 27,000 years lost since 1989. However, this is just a fraction of wrongful convictions.
If my conviction has been vacated and I’ve been released from prison, am I guaranteed compensation from the government?
Unfortunately, no. A handful of states still do not provide compensation for people who have been wrongfully convicted. In most of the states that do provide compensation, the wrongfully convicted person still must file proceedings in court after their release to obtain a judgment of wrongful conviction. Many times the state’s attorneys will oppose this effort, victimizing the wrongly convicted person yet again by requiring them to hire a lawyer.
How long does it take to receive compensation?
Each state that provides compensation has a different statute and often a different philosophical approach to compensation. Some states work relatively quickly and cooperatively to provide compensation. Others drag the process out, fighting the wrongly convicted person’s efforts, and sometimes this battle can take several years.
How do I pay for a lawyer?
We recognize that an individual who has just been released from prison often has few, if any, financial resources to hire a lawyer to obtain compensation. As a result, in most instances, the individual can afford an attorney only if the attorney agrees to provide representation on a contingency fee basis. This means the client pays nothing unless there is a recovery in their case.
Can I sue someone for my wrongful conviction in addition to seeking money under a state compensation statute?
Sometimes, depending on the circumstances. In some situations, misconduct by a police officer or forensic investigator causes a wrongful conviction. This could include fabricating or falsifying evidence, witness coercion, or hiding evidence that would have helped show the person's innocence. These acts may violate the person’s constitutional rights. In those instances, a lawsuit can be filed under federal law – in addition to or instead of a claim being filed under a state compensation statute – to recover damages.
What can I recover?
This depends. Many state compensation statutes set specific amounts of compensation, most often based on the amount of time the person spent in prison. These amounts and whether there is a maximum cap on them can vary widely from state to state. Some states also provide free or subsidized college tuition and re-entry services. Damages for civil rights claims, on the other hand, are not set or limited by statute. Settlements and verdicts tend to vary with the nature of the civil rights violation, the amount of time in prison, and the effects the wrongful conviction and imprisonment have on the person's life. We consider every angle and legal theory to maximize our clients' recovery in their particular case.
Talk to a Wrongful Conviction Lawyer
If you've been wrongfully convicted, contact us.
Let us fight for you.
Are you a victim of a wrongful conviction? Schedule a free consultation to find the best way to seek restitution and to stop it from happening to someone else.
Take the first step toward justice by contacting our offices. Here’s how the process usually works: