If you were originally arrested, and prosecuted, by state authorities you may still be eligible for relief in federal court. 28 U.S.C. § 2254 provides the forum for an application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court. Specifically, it states:
(1) An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted unless it appears that—
(A) the applicant has exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the State; or
(i)there is an absence of available State corrective process; or
(ii)circumstances exist that render such process ineffective to protect the rights of the applicant.
However, the issues raised on a § 2254 petition must have been fully litigated in state court before pursuing this federal avenue. After you have exhausted all possible avenues of appeal in state court, the next step would be to file a writ of habeas corpus petition governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Sometimes there are issues that should have been raised in a state PCRA that were not. As with the federal counterpart, § 2255 motion has a one year deadline from final disposition of the case.
Even if there is an issue of timeliness, you may still be eligible for relief under Martinez v. Ryan. In Martinez, the United States Supreme Court found that while state law states ineffective assistance of trial counsel claims must be raised at the first possible stage, a federal habeas court can review these claims if there was on counsel or counsel in that proceeding was ineffective. This means that if you had an ineffective attorney at the PCRA level, you can still raise it at the federal habeas level.
If you have any other questions about whether you quality for relief, or what issues you can raise in a § 2254 petition, contact Laguzzi Law, P.C.