We are often asked, “What is a 35c motion?” Sometimes, the question is even shorter, like “How do I do a 35c?”

In Colorado, Rule 35c of the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure provides defendants with an opportunity to challenge their conviction and sentence.  A motion brought pursuant to Rule 35c is often referred to as a “35c motion.”  We usually use the more general term of “post-conviction litigation” to describe the process.

A defendant may raise any issue of constitutional magnitude in his Rule 35c motion.  That is, any violation of a constitutional right may be included in the post-conviction motion.  The motion is filed in the trial court, usually after the completion of the appellate process.

One of the most common issues in post-conviction litigation is the question of “ineffective assistance of counsel.”  The defendant in a criminal case has a constitutional right to the effective assistance of counsel.  A violation of that right may result in the defendant’s conviction or sentence being overturned.

Patrick Mulligan is one of the most experienced and successful post-conviction lawyers in Colorado.  Patrick has handled and won many post-conviction cases, including multiple first degree murder cases.  Patrick has also testified as an expert witness in many Rule 35c proceedings throughout the state.

If you or someone you know has a post-conviction issue, or a question about a Rule 35c matter, contact Mulligan Breit, LLC at 303-295-1500.

2 thoughts on “What is a 35c Motion?

  1. Can more than one item be brought up in 35C? For instance, ineffective counsel; violation of the US Constitution and newly discovered evidence?
    Or can only one item be brought up i.e. only ineffective counsel and no other issue.

    1. Excellent question regarding the scope of what can be included in a 35c motion. In general, a defendant will want to allege all constitutional violations that have not already been litigated at the direct appeal level. This will normally include claims of ineffective assistance of counsel, as well as any other issues of constitutional magnitude. Because “successive” petitions are generally forbidden, the Rule 35c motion should be as thorough as possible.

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