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Petitioning for Habeas Corpus in West Covina

Our Award-Winning Attorneys Explains the Process

If you have been convicted of a crime in California and you have appealed that conviction but lost on appeal, you may think that you are out of options. But with the help of an West Covina criminal defense lawyer from Coimbra Law Firm, that is not always the case. There might be one more way to challenge your conviction, one of which is known as a writ of habeas corpus petition. In California, anyone who is “imprisoned or restrained of his liberty” can bring what is called a habeas corpus petition to challenge his or her imprisonment.

Requirements for Bringing a Habeas Corpus Petition

A habeas corpus petition is only available in certain circumstances, which our firm can explain to you in detail. In the legal world, this is referred to as an “extraordinary remedy,” meaning it is only available in extreme and unusual circumstances. For a court to consider a habeas petition, certain minimum requirements must be met.

The requirements include the following:

  • Petitioner must be in custody: To bring a habeas petition, you must be in custody of the government, meaning that because of criminal charges or a criminal conviction your mobility (your ability to freely move about) is restricted.
  • Issues must not be resolved on appeal/no other adequate remedy at law: A habeas petition cannot be used to litigate issues that were already resolved in an appeal or to litigate issues that could have been litigated in an appeal.
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel or the court did not appoint a lawyer: A common ground on which a court might grant a writ of habeas corpus is because a defendant’s trial lawyer or appellate lawyer was not competent. This is called an "ineffective assistance of counsel" claim.
  • Conviction pursuant to unconstitutional law: You may be able to challenge your conviction using a writ of habeas corpus if you can demonstrate that the criminal law that you were convicted of violating is unconstitutional.
  • Prosecutorial misconduct: In California, you can file a habeas corpus petition in cases involving prosecutorial misconduct. This might include circumstances involving a prosecutor who presents to the court testimony or evidence that the prosecutor knows to be false, withholds important evidence that would have been helpful to your case, or presents false evidence that led you to decide to plead guilty.
  • Incompetency at time of trial: Under California law, a person can't be tried for a crime while they are insane or mentally incompetent. Habeas corpus petitions may be filed on the grounds that the defendant was not competent when he was tried for a crime.

Interested in a free case consultation with an West Covina habeas corpus attorney? Call us now at (626) 827-7222 for help.

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