If you are not successful on either the direct appeal or the Petition for Discretionary Review, the next step would be a state writ of habeas corpus. Also, if you were not given permission for appeal, you may be able to go directly into a writ of habeas corpus.
In Texas, there are several types of post-conviction writs. What kind you will need to file will depend on what the outcome of your case was and what sentence you received.
But, a writ of habeas corpus is latin for “you have the body”. It is a legal vehicle to get back into to court and tell the State of Texas that you are illegally detaining an individual in violation of the constitution. The “great object” of the writ of habeas corpus “is the liberation of those who may be imprisoned without sufficient cause.” Ex parte Watkins, 28 U.S. 193, 202, 7 L. Ed. 650 (1830)
Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 11.07 – Procedure After Conviction Without Death Penalty
If you were convicted of a felony and received a term of imprisonment, then you will need to file an 11.07 writ of habeas corpus. Even if you completed your term in prison and have been released. An 11.07 is filed back in the convicting trial court. For example, if you are convicted in Bexar County District Court, the judge who handled your case will be reviewing your writ. That court will make findings of facts and conclusions of law and can recommend whether relief should be granted or denied. The case will then be forwarded to the Court of Criminal Appeals for final determination.
Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 11.072 – Procedure in Community Supervision Case
If you received some form of community supervision (probation) and no prison sentence, then you will need to file a writ of habeas pursuant to article 11.072 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Unlike an 11.07 writ, this writ does not go to the Court of Criminal Appeals and will be decided by the trial court. If the trial court does not grant relief, you will be able to appeal the decision to an intermediary appellate court.
Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 11.073 – Procedure Related to Certain Scientific Evidence
This article of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure is known as the “Junk Science” provision. Under article 11.073, you may file a writ attacking a conviction if relevant scientific evidence was not available at trial or contradicts scientific evidence relied on by the state at trial.
Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 11.071 – Procedure in Death Penalty Case
This article is used only if the death penalty was imposed in a case.
Post-conviction work requires an attorney with a comprehensive understanding of the law and procedure. Writs of habeas corpus are very difficult to prove. The justice system favors the finality of convictions, therefore the burden on a defendant convicted of a crime is a difficult task to prove. Statistically speaking, of the thousands that are filed each year, very few are even granted. Please contact the Law Office of Dayna Jones if you would like your case to be reviewed to determine whether an appeal or writ of habeas corpus is your next option in fighting your conviction.