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The timeline to filing an 11.07 writ of habeas corpus in TexasThe timeline of the 11.07 writ of habeas corpus application varies widely.

From the time you file your writ to the time that you get resolution in your (or loved one’s) case could be as much as two years.

It may be as little as three to four months.

There are cases that resolve quickly.

There are some cases that take many years to resolve.

11.07 writs are very time-intensive for the attorney to prepare. The amount of work and time that goes into preparing the writ is reflected on how much a post-conviction writ attorney will charge for these services.

So what are the things you should know about the 11.07 writ of habeas corpus and how can an attorney help you facilitate the process?

How Does an Attorney Handle the 11.07 Application Process Timeline?

There are many phases to an 11.07 writ application.

If you have the money and hire an attorney, they will:

  1. Work vigorously to to get copies of all the records,
  2. Do factual investigation look at the facts of the case,
  3. They then will:
    1. Review the records,
    2. Review materials they get from the prosecution and defense,
    3. Check for any new evidence that could be presented, or facts that were unknown, outside the record, to determine the best grounds in your particular case.

The best part of an 11.07 writ is that you can present new facts.

11.07 writs of habeas corpus are about facts. The court wants to know why you should get relief based on the facts presented.

Factors Influencing the Lengthy Process of an 11.07 application

As we mentioned, an experienced post-conviction attorney will have to:

  1. Gather the records,
  2. Do a factual investigation,
  3. Also conduct legal research to determine what are the best grounds in a particular case.

Legal research and factual investigation can be a lengthy process, depending upon many factors.

Gathering Records

Sometimes it isn’t easy to get records depending on how old your case is.

In our experience, district attorney’s offices are often hesitant to hand over records.

Sometimes an attorney has to do public information requests in order to get those records.

Defense attorneys are hesitant to turn over their records, especially when they know they will be turning it over to a writ attorney.

They will try as much as possible to be on guard on the unfavorable situation that may boomerang against them.

And, obviously, no trial attorney wants to have a writ filed against them (for reputational protection).

Factual Investigation

So once those records are gathered, the factual investigation is performed. Grounds are identified.

An attorney will research those grounds and determine what the best grounds are.

Ultimately an attorney will assert all of the grounds because if you don’t assert every ground that you’ve got in that first 11.07 writ of habeas, the case could very well be waived.

And you’ll never be able to bring it again.

Even though that claim would have set your loved one free had you asserted it in the first place.

We call this making sure you take full advantage of that “one bite of the apple”, if the writ isn’t presented properly, hopes for freedom fade rapidly.

Filing the 11.07 Writ of Habeas Corpus

The remaining timeline involved here is filing the 11.07 writ of habeas corpus.

Once the writ application is prepared, and the brief is prepared along with it, you file the writ into the trial court where you were convicted. The state must respond within 15 days.

The judge of the trial court would decide whether, within 20 days from the date the state has filed its response whether there are contested facts that have previously not been litigated, if you were correct, those facts could entitle you to relief. That means that you’ve alleged ineffective assistance of counsel. Allegations will wind up against how the case was handled previously.

Regardless of the allegations, the court of criminal appeals ultimately wants to hear from that lawyer and hear what they have to say about the facts in the case.

So the trial court sets up an evidentiary hearing where witnesses are called and parties interrogated, including the questioning of the previous lawyer’s supposed ineffective assistance.

The parties would be allowed to question whatever witnesses they have.

Oftentimes that’s the lawyer that represented you at trial. A record is prepared for those proceedings.

The trial court makes some findings of facts and conclusions of law, oftentimes that go with that record. And everything goes to the court of criminal appeals. The findings of facts and conclusions of law can be very important in a case.

It depends upon the facts in your case. The trial court is more of weighers of credibility than a decider of the law.

Anyway, pressing on from that, when the case is filed in the court of criminal appeals, then the court of criminal appeals assigns it to a writ attorney.

They assign it to an individual judge who begins to look at and think about the decisions to make in that case.

Oftentimes, it’s decided without anything further. It’s decided without additional briefing, oral argument, or additional hearings.

Oral Arguments In Court Are Possible

Sometimes though, the court can set it for oral argument.

That’s where the attorneys show up and argue the case in person.

Sometimes they can set it for additional briefs on a particular issue or send it back to the trial court.

Oftentimes (90% of the time), the court of criminal appeals decides it based on what it has received and not much else.

In any case, once the court of criminal appeals receives the application in hand, they decide on the case. However, decision time can vary greatly.

If they want to follow those findings of facts and conclusions of law, they could decide the case in a few months.

If they’re really thinking about it, weighing the decision of how this thing would come out, they could take two years to decide it.

Effectively, timelines vary anywhere from six months from the time you file it to a resolution to two to a maximum of two and a half years timeline.

About The Attorney

Jacob Blizzard Criminal Defense Attorney

Jacob Blizzard is board certified in both criminal law and criminal appellate law.

He regularly practices in the areas of state and federal criminal defense, criminal appeals, post conviction writs of habeas corpus.

In Texas, there are more than 100,000 attorneys licensed to practice, but only 7,450 are board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

In the entire State of Texas, as of the 2019 certification year, there were only 87 attorneys board certified in both criminal law and criminal appellate law, making Mr. Blizzard one of 0.087% of attorneys in Texas to hold both of those certifications.