What is a writ of habeas corpus?
Many people do not understand what the term means. A writ of habeas corpus is a constitutionally recognized process, it is an order to bring the person holding you (or your loved one who is in prison) to justify why they are legally holding you/your loved one (consider you/your/your loved one synonymous in our examples below).
Whenever you follow a writ of habeas corpus or an application for a writ of habeas corpus, you’re asking the court to issue a writ ordering the sheriff or the prison system, or whoever, to bring that person to court to answer why they’re being held and justify that they are being held legally.
However, in the context of Texas legal situations, you’re dealing with the Habeas Corpus section in The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 11.
That’s why it is called an 11.07 writ of habeas corpus because the Texas Legislature has set out some guidelines under which the writ of habeas corpus is used in Texas.
What a writ of habeas corpus does is when that person brings the state to court to try to justify why they’re holding you, you are alleging in your application for a writ of habeas corpus that they are holding you illegally in violation of the Constitution.
What To Assert in Writ of Habeas Corpus?
You want to think about the constitutional grounds under which you could attack your sentence and your conviction.
They include ineffective assistance of a council of your lawyer, prosecutorial misconduct, due process violations, equal protection violations, and more. So you were convicted, obviously, you had a jury trial or you pled guilty, or whatever the case is, but there’s something about that underlying procedure that was not fair to you.
It wasn’t fair to you because the Constitution was not followed in that procedure. And sometimes that’s in the records and sometimes it’s not. So you have a situation where you received ineffective assistance of counsel, even though you were convicted, that is a reason that you should not have been convicted. It doesn’t matter whether you were guilty or not.
You’re entitled to due process and all of these rights that you have under the Constitution to be secure in your person, from prosecution and conviction, except for complying with the constitutional requirements, for a trial, and for criminal accusations.
In a nutshell, that’s 11.07, and how this court writ, the writ of habeas corpus works in Texas. If you don’t live in Texas, there are writs of habeas corpus in every state and in the federal court system. They also have their own set of guidelines. Those depend on whether you’re in state custody or federal custody as to how those writs of habeas corpus will apply in your case.
The appeals division of Blizzard and Zimmerman Attorneys stands ready to assist you with your case. Contact us today regarding your Texas state or Federal post conviction case to see if we can help.
About The 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.
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.