State and Federal Habeas Corpus Petitions. If an individual is serving a prison sentence in state or federal custody it is possible that a petition for writ of habeas corpus will be viable to secure relief from the conviction and/or sentence. Generally it is helpful for a lawyer to read the record of all court proceedings which have preceded the proposed habeas filing, and to determine what issues are now available to be raised, whether the case requires a new investigation (perhaps the first!) and to decide whether remedies below have been exhausted, before any post conviction petition can be filed. A thorough review of what has taken place is mandatory to have a clear picture of the inmate’s standing to file, the issues to be raised and what needs to be done before heading back to court.
Direct Appeals. A direct appeal is a right of a criminal defendant, however it is a right which can be waived. The direct appeal should ideally be filed after a motion for a new trial has been brought and heard, so any and all issues can be identified before heading to the appellate court. The defendant has the best chance to overturn a conviction on direct appeal, so it is critical to engage the appellate court in all possible known issues at that time.
Federal Prisoner Litigation. I have been engaged in litigation with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for 25 years, long before most lawyers understood that inmates in federal prisons had rights which needed to be protected. Many of the federal prisoner’s administrative rights are published at the Federal Bureau of Prisons website (see my “Links” page). Many are set out in lengthy manuals which are not indexed and are time consuming to review. Federal inmates and their visitors do have rights which must be protected, and this office has achieved great success in enforcing them.
Federal Parole. Defendants who are sentenced today are rarely sentenced under what is termed the “old law”, which refers to sentences imposed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §4205 (now repealed). There are many “old law” prisoners who are on federal parole or who are serving their “old law” sentence as the initial sentence or as a parole violation. “Old law” offenders receive good time at a different rate than “new law”prisoners, and “old law” offenders are eligible for parole, the eligibility time depending on the section under which their “old law” sentence was imposed. I continue to successfully represent old law offenders in all areas of federal parole.
Linda Sheffield, in her appellate and post conviction practice, on both a state and federal level, has wide experience with cyber-sex, internet sex, cases. Linda works with the top experts in the country to diminish the seriousness of these prosecutions, to overturn wrongful convictions and sentences and to mitigate draconian sentencing requests by the prosecution.