Habeas Corpus and DWI

One of the oldest and most important tools under the law is a writ of Habeas Corpus. Literally translated as “you should have the body,” the writ or application to the court of Habeas Corpus requires the court to rule on whether the state is rightly detaining someone or not. Throughout history, the writ of Habeas Corpus has helped people get a just ruling on whether the state has a right to keep them in jail.

When a person is convicted and jailed for a DWI offense, the writ of Habeas Corpus applies to them, as well. There are many different avenues an inmate can take to file a writ of Habeas Corpus. Most of these petitions are based on the claim that the constitutional rights of a person were violated in the process of getting convicted, and should therefore not be legally in jail or prison.

Texas Court Dismisses Habeas Corpus Appeal for DWI Convict

This is what happened recently in a Texas case in which a man convicted of DWI appealed to the courts with a writ of Habeas Corpus based on three claims he made. According to him, during his trial, the state’s witnesses were untruthful with their testimony and deprived him of due process of law. He also claimed that the judge was biased against him, based on comments the judge made during the trial. Both of these issues were not appealable under a writ of Habeas Corpus because they were direct appeal issues.

For his third claim, the man convicted of DWI argued to the court that his right to effective assistance of counsel was violated, and therefore he was wrongly being detained by the state. Under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a person accused and tried for most crimes has a right to an attorney, and this includes for those accused of DWI. This right extends to include the right to effective assistance of counsel in a case.

If a an attorney falls below the standard of giving effective assistance of counsel during a case, the convicted person can appeal based on his or her Sixth Amendment right being violated. This is a difficult standard to prove. In most cases the court will defer to the judgment and decisions made by an attorney in a case, no matter what the circumstances or how poor the representation actually was.

That is what happened in this case. The man convicted of DWI made several arguments to the court about why his lawyer fell below the standard required to render effective assistance of counsel. But he was not successful because he could not show that his lawyer’s conduct fell below an objective standard of reasonable representation, and that he would have won his case, but for the lawyer’s mistakes. So, the writ of Habeas Corpus was denied.

Choosing the Right Legal Team for Your DWI Case

This case illustrates how important it is for those accused of DWI to choose the right DWI defense team. Every lawyer in every case brings their own strengths and weaknesses to a case, so you want an attorney representing you who has the experience and talent needed to successfully defend you in court. At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm our name says it all. We are dedicated to ensuring that you get the best possible result in your case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.