Habeas Corpus Process in Ohio
If you were convicted of a crime and sentenced to imprisoned, you may have grounds to challenge the legality of your incarceration. If a court determines that your detention is unlawful, you might be granted immediate release or other relief that remedies the injustice you were subjected to. The vehicle for questioning the legality of your incarceration is known as a writ of habeas corpus. The process of pursuing this option is complicated. You must file a petition with the court that clearly states the reasons you believe relief should be granted. You may also be scheduled for a hearing, during which you must cogently present your points.
Fortunately, you do not have to handle the complexities of your case alone. You can have legal representation on your side throughout, and Patituce & Associates, LLC is here to provide the counsel you need. Our Cleveland criminal defense attorneys have over 70 years of combined experience. We fight aggressively for people whose rights were violated. Our Ohio habeas corpus attorneys do not stand for injustices carried out at the hands of government officials, and we can do what it takes to seek a favorable outcome for you. We know how to draft persuasive arguments and present compelling cases in court. When you hire us, you will have a team standing up for you, taking care of the technical details of your matter.
What Is Habeas Corpus?
Translated from Latin, “habeas corpus” means “to produce the body.” Essentially, the court is telling the agency that has incarcerated an individual to bring them before the court to determine whether their detention is lawful. Pursuing a writ of habeas corpus is a constitutional right protecting people from the loss of liberty without justification. It also prevents government agencies from abusing their discretion and unlawfully detaining individuals.
How to File Habeas Corpus
To seek relief through habeas corpus, the individual pursuing this option must file a petition with the court. Typically, this is done while they are still in custody and after they have exhausted all other post-conviction relief methods.
When seeking habeas corpus, the individual must include in their petition a statement stating the action they are requesting the court to take. They must also elaborate on the grounds on which they are pursuing relief, meaning that they provide evidence supporting their claim that their imprisonment is unlawful.
After the court receives the petition for habeas corpus, it will schedule the petitioner for a hearing. During this proceeding, the petitioner, their lawyer, and the official overseeing the incarceration may have a chance to present oral arguments backing their assertions about whether or not the confinement is lawful.
It’s important to note that this hearing is not designed to determine the petitioner’s guilt or innocence of the crime for which they were convicted. Also, it’s different from a direct appeal in that the court is not reviewing the case record to determine whether an egregious legal error occurred that substantially impacted the outcome of the case. At question during a habeas corpus hearing is whether the enforcement official has lawful authority to keep the individual detained.
What Happens When a Writ of Habeas Corpus is Granted?
If, after considering all facts presented in the case, a court determines that the petitioner’s incarceration is unlawful, the habeas corpus request will be granted. When such a case is decided in the petitioner’s favor the conditions of their confinement may be altered.
Possible outcomes of a writ of habeas corpus being granted include the following:
- Change in conditions of incarceration,
- Qualify for a reduced sentence and/or
- Release from custody
Proving Complex Habeas Corpus Claims in OH
Habeas corpus claims present some of the most intricate procedural issues of any criminal litigation. Issues can only overcome procedural default in a federal habeas corpus claim when they have been raised in every step of your direct appeal.
In fancy legal terms, we say that every issue must have been “procedurally exhausted.” Additionally, the claims you raised must allege that the state unreasonably applied the facts in your case or failed to follow firmly established United States Supreme Court precedent.