The Writ of Habeas Corpus is a fundamental legal protection against unlawful state action. It originated in medieval English common law and was later brought to the North American British colonies. The US Constitution explicitly states that “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”
There are many reasons to petition for a writ. Our attorneys are familiar with Texas and federal laws that can serve as a basis for these claims.
The Writ of Habeas Corpus
The writ of habeas corpus is an ancient common-law remedy that directs a court to inquire into the legality of an individual’s detention. It is difficult to pinpoint its exact origin, but it was included in the 1215 Magna Carta and later became a part of English law. The framers of the United States Constitution, influenced by this law, explicitly charged that “the privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the Public Safety may require it.” The US Supreme Court has further expanded the protection of this fundamental constitutional right.
Aaron Spolin is a skilled habeas attorney with significant experience in criminal appeals and the use of this important remedy. Our team utilizes Texas statutes, regulations, and case law along with federal constitutional law to protect the rights of our clients.
The writ of habeas corpus is an extraordinary and powerful tool that can mean release for a prisoner. Writing a successful petition for a writ of habeas corpus requires care, skill and experience. Spolin Law P.C. forcefully fights for our clients who seek to use this writ to uphold their rights against illegal state action.
Its origins predate the Magna Carta, but it was not fully incorporated into English law until the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679. Parliament enacted this law fearing that the king’s Catholic brother would succeed him and disregard English liberties.
The Act stated that a person was entitled to a habeas corpus hearing in order to verify the legality of his or her detention. The Writ of Habeas Corpus was also extended to prisoners in state custody by Congress in the Judiciary Act of 1789 and, later, after World War II, through the incorporation process by which the Bill of Rights was applied to the states.
The writ of habeas corpus commands that the prisoner be brought before a court. The federal court or state court will then determine whether there has been a violation of the prisoner’s rights. The writ of habeas may address claims such as ineffective assistance of counsel, newly discovered evidence or even actual innocence.
The Writ of Habeas Corpus is one of the most important tools available for a criminal defendant to challenge his or her conviction. As experienced appellate attorneys, we know that there are hundreds of arguments that can be raised in a writ of habeas corpus that would lead to a dismissal or reduction of a conviction. We have successfully argued many of these arguments in the past. It is often best to raise any issues that are based on federal law in a writ of habeas rather than waiting until an appeal.
There are many ways that a Writ of Habeas Corpus can be filed. It typically involves retaining a criminal appeals lawyer and conducting an investigation into claims that may give rise to relief, such as new evidence establishing innocence or coerced pleas.
The writ is then served upon the entity that is holding the petitioner, usually by affidavit. The affidavit must fully state the legal reasons and grounds for detention.
Frequently, these arguments involve a claim of violation of federal or state constitutional rights. These can include the Fourteenth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments. A writ of habeas corpus is often the last resort before the Supreme Court. It can also be used to challenge a conviction in cases where the error could not have been raised at trial or on an appeal.
When a person is in custody, actually or constructively, they may file a petition for writ of habeas corpus. The petition must be signed and verified by the applicant for relief or someone acting on their behalf.
The federal courts do not require a person to exhaust state habeas corpus before filing in federal court. However, there is a one-year deadline to file a federal habeas corpus after the highest court in your state denies your request for relief.
Obtaining a successful Writ of Habeas Corpus requires skillful representation. Contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Spolin Law P.C. today to discuss your case. We are committed to helping clients get the justice they deserve. Our firm uses Texas laws, statutes and regulations, as well as federal case law and the United States Constitution to fight for your freedom.