Legal Rights of Incarcerated Individuals in Texas

Incarcerated individuals lose their liberty but don’t lose their legal rights. A person imprisoned after a felony conviction can appeal his conviction. He has the right to assistance of counsel for the direct appeal. In other words, the court must appoint one if he cannot afford an appellate attorney.

Habeas Corpus

An incarcerated individual can challenge his conviction with a writ of habeas corpus once the conviction has become final. However, he does not have a right to counsel for this, so it is vitally important to consult privately with experienced appellate counsel before filing a writ application.

Incarcerated Individuals’ Rights in Prison

Prisoners have constitutional rights related to their confinement, as well. Prisoners can challenge prison regulations that affect their constitutional rights. They can challenge prison conditions that may constitute cruel and unusual punishment. They can challenge prison guards’ use of excessive physical force. They can challenge a prison’s failure to provide adequate medical care or to supply adequate medical and health aids, such as drugs or glasses. Prisoners should usually try to enforce these rights in federal court in a civil action. However, the record developed during a writ of habeas corpus proceeding may help prove that a prisoner’s rights have been violated. An experienced appellate attorney can work to ensure that this evidence comes to light.

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Understanding Wrongful Convictions: What You Need to Know

Criminal Appeals: Five Things to Know

Written by: Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian Last Updated : August 14, 2023