Post-Conviction Habeas Corpus

A writ of habeas corpus is an action that forces the review of a person’s incarceration requiring the government to justify why it is holding that person in custody. It is a powerful tool because it can compel the release of an individual.

Aside from an appeal, a habeas corpus is another way for an inmate to challenge their conviction or sentence. However, this is not a second appeal where you get another opportunity to litigate the case. Instead, you are limited to arguments such as an incorrect application of the law or newly discovered circumstances that now justify release.

Writs can be brought in the State of Florida or in federal court. A state habeas corpus is filed pursuant to Florida law, whereas a federal writ is filed under federal law.

Federal writs of habeas corpus can be filed to challenge a state judgment. A federal court will most likely grant the writ in “extraordinary” circumstances. A federal court is likely to grant a writ of habeas corpus based on a state court conviction under the following circumstances: 1) the state court decision was contrary to or involved an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law, as determined by the United States Supreme Court; or 2) the state court decision was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the state court proceeding.

Whether filing the writ in state or federal court, there are deadlines in order to do so. The attorneys at Law Offices of Paul D. Petruzzi, P.A. have represented many clients and successfully secured their release through various post-conviction relief, including applications for writs of habeas corpus. Contact us to learn more about petitions for Writs of Habeas Corpus.


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