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Filing a federal writ of habeas corpus

Posted by Ann Fitz | May 06, 2022 | 0 Comments

You may believe that you are being held unlawfully by a U.S. government agency and should therefore be released. In such a matter, you may be able to file a federal writ of habeas corpus. Many courts deny these writs with no hearing. If you do get a hearing, you typically have a slim chance of proving your case. However, with the right evidence and experience, it can be done.

Petition for habeas corpus in federal court

Federal crimes are usually considered the most serious of all. It is very difficult to prove that you are being held in an unlawful fashion. Your best bet will be to file a federal writ of habeas corpus, which will normally take the shape of a lawsuit against an official of the state, such as the warden of your prison.

“Habeas corpus” is Latin for “produce the body.” The body of evidence against you must be examined and proved to hold merit. Your argument is that your detention is unlawful and that you must be released. You must file a petition for habeas corpus in order for it to be reviewed and your case decided on.

Filing a federal habeas corpus petition

Courts in the United States have official procedures regarding the filing of a habeas corpus petition. In most cases, after you have filed your petition, it will be received by the court. Once your petition for habeas corpus has been received, it will then be considered for a possible review.

You will need to file your petition within a year after you have received a final judgment or after you have received a ruling on direct appeal. If the court does decide that you are in the right, this may result in an order for your immediate release.

About the Author

Ann Fitz

Attorney Ann Fitz Attorney Ann Fitz has 20 years of experience as a federal criminal attorney and appellate practice attorney.  She began her career as a prosecutor in 2003 and started her own federal criminal defense practice in 2007.  She is devoted to protecting the rights of the accused in f...


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