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Habeas Corpus: Know Your Rights!

habeas corpus

Continuing with our series of blogs on courtroom concepts and lingo, today we’ll be looking at “habeas corpus.” You’ve probably heard this term before, but what does it mean?

Habeas Corpus Defined

What is habeas corpus? It is a Latin term that literally means “bring forth the body.” However, it doesn’t have to do with dead bodies or cadavers. Rather, it’s a legal recourse through which a person can claim they’ve been unlawfully detained or imprisoned. Afterwards, the prisoner is brought to court in order to determine whether or not the official detained them illegally. In other words, if you believe the prison holds you or imprisoned you illegally, you can request a “writ of habeas corpus.” If granted, you’ll appear before a judge and the court can determine if you were detained legally. It’s a right that grants people release from prison for unlawful imprisonment.

Habeas Corpus in Court

How does this work? To begin, you have to know that you have this as a right granted to you as a US citizen according to the US Constitution. “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Therefore, states also grant this right.

So, here’s how it works:

  • First, a prisoner must complete this form if they believe they’re being detained illegally.
  • Next, they must provide supporting documents that include a copy of the decisions they’re challenging.
  • Then, they must pay the $5 filing fee.
  • Finally, they must submit these documents to the District Court.

Upon review, if it becomes evident that the case has been mishandled or a person has been detained illegally, they will be released.

Mark Catanzaro: The Attorney for You!

Finally, as you can see, if you want to petition for a writ of habeas corpus, you need a competent lawyer by your side. Filling out the form and ensuring it gets the attention it deserves requires an attorney with drive and verve. That is exactly what Mark Catanzaro provides! He has the experience to effectively defend your case. So contact him today!


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