What Is Habeas Corpus?

Unless you have a passion for criminal law, or you are forced to ask about it because of a court order, there is little chance that you have heard of “habeas corpus.”  Habeas Corpus is a Latin phrase, literarily meaning “you have the body” and it is recourse under the law whereby a person reports unlawful detention before the court. In the US judicial system, federal courts can use the writ of habeas corpus to check if the detention of a prisoner is valid. You will need a specialized lawyer to help you represent your case and obtain this court order. Hire a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, CA.

attorney_civil_losangelesHabeas corpus, also known as the Great Writ, is a court order that summons the custodian to explain why a person is imprisoned. When challenging your detention by filling the petition, the executive branch must explain to a neutral judge the justification for keeping you in detention. Habeas corpus is a civil action against a state agent (warden, custodian) who holds the defendant in his custody. It is also used to examine any extradition processes used, amount of bail and the jurisdiction of the court. The federal court’s review of a habeas corpus petition is considered to be collateral relief of a state court decision rather than direct review.

Nowadays, habeas corpus is primarily used as a post-conviction remedy for state or federal prisoners who contest the legality of the application of federal laws that were used in the judicial proceedings that culminated in their imprisonment.

Other uses of habeas corpus include immigration or deportation cases and matters concerning military detention:

  • court proceedings before military commissions;
  • convictions in military court;

Finally, habeas corpus is used to determine preliminary matters in criminal cases, such as:

  • an adequate basis for detention;
  • removal to another federal district court;
  • the denial of bail or parole;
  • a claim of double jeopardy;
  • the failure to provide for a speedy trial or hearing;
  • the legality of extradition to a foreign country;

Our lawyers are ready to represent your case.  zolonzassociates.com