Habeas Corpus

Regardless of whether you have challenged your conviction on appeal, you may petition a Georgia superior court for a Writ of Habeas Corpus, challenging that your sentence violates the Constitutions of the United States or Georgia. In Georgia, you must file a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus within four years of your felony convictions having become final (within one year for misdemeanor convictions). When a conviction becomes final depends on what other steps you took to appeal your conviction, if any. Also, some circumstances can extend the time for filing a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus.

If you believe you've been illegally detained or imprisoned, you can petition a Georgia court for Habeas Corpus, arguing that your detention violates the Georgia constitution. The statute of limitations for filing a Habeas Corpus petition in Georgia is four years from your conviction.

While some individuals choose to navigate the process themselves, it's important to have a skilled Georgia attorney to represent them. The truth is that filing a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is stressful, so you need someone with the proper knowledge and experience on your side.

At The Bullard Firm, we have extensive experience helping clients overturn criminal convictions on appeal. Our Georgia appeals attorneys understand the laws and procedures of post-conviction hearings. Contact us today and let us know how we can help with your case.

What is a Writ Habeas Corpus?

A Writ of Habeas Corpus, which is Latin for “bring a body before the court,” is a petition for a court to review the circumstances of your imprisonment. This petition asks the court to order the government agency that has detained you to meet you in court where you will be able to argue the position alleged in the petition - that your sentence is in violation of the State or U.S. Constitution.

The court will review the petition. If the petition is approved, then the government agency responsible for your detention must prove that your imprisonment is lawful and that the duration and conditions are appropriate. In addition, the government agency will need to prove that the conditions of your detention do not violate your civil rights.

Federal enforcement agencies that may be challenged by a Writ of Habeas Corpus include the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or U.S. Marshals Service.

Understanding Habeas Corpus

A writ of Habeas Corpus is a basic right in the U.S. Constitution that protects individual freedom from arbitrary executive power. Derived from Latin, Habeas Corpus is an important legal instrument that means "bring a body before the court." It's a petition to bring the person before the court to review the circumstances of their detention.

The process of a Habeas Corpus petition is more limited than that of appeals and addresses limited constitutional issues. Your attorney will evaluate your case's circumstances to determine if you have a cause for Habeas Corpus relief in Georgia.

Grounds for Habeas Corpus Relief

  • Double jeopardy
  • Faulty jury instructions
  • Prosecutorial misconduct
  • Defective indictment
  • Unlawful search and seizure
  • Ineffective appellate counsel
  • Illegal statues

Filing for a Writ of Habeas Corpus

Filing for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is appropriate only under certain circumstances. For example, you may seek a Writ of Habeas Corpus if you have been unlawfully imprisoned, you have been refused a bond hearing, your detention is unlawfully prolonged, you were denied a bail bond, or you are experiencing inadequate living conditions and healthcare.

If you are eligible to seek Habeas Corpus, the first step is filing a petition with a federal court and getting it approved. If your petition is approved, then you will be able to request relief in several forms. For example, you may request the court to order you released from custody, enforce your human and civil rights, curtail the duration of your imprisonment, or ask for any other illegal matters to be corrected. 

Filing a petition is very different from an appeal. Unlike an appeal, where an appellate court is asked to reverse a guilty verdict, a Writ of Habeas Corpus does not challenge the trial court’s verdict. Before you can file for a Writ of Habeas Corpus, you must first appeal your case to the highest level. The court will deny your petition if you have not exhausted the appeals process.

After Grounds for Habeas Corpus Relief

If you have been granted a course for a Writ of Habeas Corpus in Georgia, remember that it is your final chance to have your conviction dismantled. So your stakes are high, and you don't want to do anything that can compromise the outcome.

This particular type of petition involves a series of procedural requirements that must be fulfilled, and a single mistake can lead to severe consequences. The strict deadlines of Habeas Corpus petitions make the situation even more delicate. And the process should begin right after the direct appeal is rejected.

The Habeas Corpus lawyers at The Bullard Firm are familiar with the procedures and complexities of the appellate law. We can review your case to establish if you are eligible to pursue a Habeas Corpus in Georgia.

Also, we will help file a Writ of Habeas Corpus if your detention is illegally prolonged, you have been denied a bond hearing, you have been detained unlawfully, or on any other reasonable grounds.

Brandon Bullard is a devoted Criminal appeals attorney in Georgia focused on overturning criminal convictions. Schedule a consultation online or contact our law firm at (404) 954-0598 to discuss your case details with our attorneys and learn your options.

Do I need an Attorney to Help With Filing for a Writ of Habeas Corpus?

If you believe that you are eligible to pursue a Writ of Habeas Corpus, you should speak with an experienced appellate law attorney like Brandon Bullard to discuss the specific facts of your situation and determine the best course of action for your case. Should filing for a Writ of Habeas Corpus be appropriate for your case, The Bullard Firm can help you analyze your case for any legal or factual errors, develop a strong argument on your behalf, and seek your release from federal custody. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our law firm.

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Because of his keen ability to navigate complicated procedural and constitutional issues, Brandon is a trusted legal advisor and my go-to recommendation for anyone in search of a zealous criminal appellate attorney.

Kosha Tucker, Attorney at Law
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Atlanta, Georgia 30339
(404) 954-0598
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