You may have been wrongly convicted of a crime, and the appeal process has been terribly slow — or simply inadequate to right the wrongs you’ve encountered. While incarcerated, you may feel utterly powerless. You can, however, ask for help by filing a document called a “writ of habeas corpus” to a court.
A writ of habeas corpus may be an intimidating title, but it could be the path to your freedom. Before asking if you should file for a writ of habeas corpus, you should know what it means:
What is a writ of habeas corpus?
The literal Latin translation of a writ of habeas corpus literally means to “produce the body.” This is a request for a person to be delivered from imprisonment to stand before a court, and it asks the court to take action to prevent a gross miscarriage of justice. It’s a potential path for relief in numerous situations, but can be particularly useful when the issues that point to your innocence weren’t covered at your trial (and, therefore, cannot be included in an appellate review).
Should you consider a writ of habeas corpus?
In some cases, a writ of habeas corpus is considered a “trump card” when considering your options. You may have been imprisoned for months or years without reasonable cause to be locked up. There might even be a suitable belief to consider evidence presented against you had been misrepresented or falsified to imprison you.
If you have taken every legal step to free yourself, then you may need to file a writ of habeas corpus. You may be given the chance to talk to a judge about your situation and regain your freedom. Keep in mind, however, that these are complex issues, and it is wisest to have experienced legal guidance as you proceed.