How to Submit a Case
Convicted in Southern California
Claim factual innocence of all involvement
In prison or jail
How do you submit a case for review?
The California Innocence Project provides pro bono (free of charge) legal assistance to inmates who maintain their factual innocence in the participation of the crime(s) for which they were convicted. In such cases, new, strong evidence of innocence must exist. The California Innocence Project does not limit its review process to DNA cases. They also review cases that may involve witness recantations, changes in science, government misconduct, or ineffective assistance of counsel – so long as there is evidence of innocence in support of the claim.
The California Innocence Project only accepts cases where the conviction occurred in the following Southern California counties: Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
The California Innocence Project will review a case post-conviction and post-sentencing. The California Innocence Project will not provide legal assistance during the time of pre-trial or trial.
In order to submit a case to the California Innocence Project for consideration, the inmate must complete and sign the Case Screening Application. The application requests specific supporting documents that must also be submitted before the review process can begin. DO NOT submit any transcripts unless a California Innocence Project representative speaks to you and requests them. It is highly recommended to submit only photocopies of legal documents due to the fact that the California Innocence Project is not responsible for the loss of returned mail.
Walk-ins will not be accepted. Do not submit documents or request representation from the California Innocence Project in person, unless pre-authorized by a California Innocence Project representative.
Completed applications and supporting documents can be submitted online. We use file management software to help organize all of the case notes we get sent. Sending your application online is easier for us to work with.
Otherwise, materials may be mailed to the California Innocence Project at 225 Cedar Street, San Diego, CA 92101. With pre-authorization from a California Innocence Project representative, documents can be hand delivered to the security desk at 350 Cedar Street, San Diego, CA 92101, Attn: California Innocence Project. Walk-ins will not be accepted. The California Innocence Project will not accept hand-delivered documents without pre-authorization.
Watch the video below to learn about our screening process.