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Habeas Corpus

Wrongfully imprisoned? Trust Chambers Law Firm to help you exercise your habeas corpus rights.

The doctrine of habeas corpus is an important safeguard against arbitrary and unlawful imprisonment that has been a pillar of Western law for centuries. The right to use habeas corpus to challenge a conviction or sentence is guaranteed by both the California Constitution and the US Constitution. Although obtaining freedom through a writ of habeas corpus is uncommon, if you believe you have been wrongfully imprisoned in the state of California, habeas corpus may represent your last best hope for justice.

Eligibility for Habeas Corpus

Habeas corpus is an “extraordinary remedy” that only applies in very specific circumstances. You can only bring a habeas corpus petition if:

You are “in custody”: You don’t have to actually be incarcerated to bring a habeas corpus petition. Habeas corpus is Latin for “that you have the body,” and it can apply in any situation where the government is restricting your freedom of movement due to a criminal charge or conviction, such as when you are released on bail or on your own recognizance, or when you are out on parole or probation.

You’ve exhausted the possibilities of the appeals process: Habeas corpus is a last resort designed to be used after you’ve already filed all possible appeals. It can also be used if the deadline for the appeals process has already passed and you discover new grounds for challenging your conviction.

You have valid grounds for a writ of habeas corpus: Most of the time, if the court rules against you on appeal, that is the end of the matter. However, if your appeal involved any of these serious issues, you have grounds to petition for a writ of habeas corpus:

  • You were convicted under an unconstitutional law
  • Your lawyer was incompetent/no lawyer was provided for you
  • The prosecutor engaged in misconduct during your trial
  • You were not competent to stand trial when you were convicted
  • New evidence has been discovered that proves your innocence or completely disproves the prosecution’s case
  • The law has changed since your conviction so that your alleged actions are no longer a crime
  • Relevant evidence regarding battered women’s syndrome was not introduced at your trial

Habeas corpus can also be used to challenge inhumane conditions in prison that the prison appeals process has failed to correct, including instances of abuse or medical neglect.

Confused? Chambers Law Firm Can Help

Given the complexity of the law on habeas corpus, you need the best possible defense attorney on your case. At Chambers Law Firm, we understand the letter of the law as well as the procedures involved in petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus. You can rely on us for accurate information about your rights and eligibility as well as dedicated assistance with the entire process. We can help you seek relief in both California and federal court.

To learn more, please contact us at 855-397-0210 and request a free initial consultation.