Henak Law Office, S.C.
  Criminal Appeals, Post-Conviction Remedies, Federal Habeas Corpus

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Milwaukee, WI 53202
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Federal Habeas Corpus - 28 USC §2255

Federal habeas corpus under 28 USC §2255 is a procedure allowing a person convicted in federal court and currently in custody to challenge that custody on grounds that either were not or could not be raised on the direct appeal. A motion under §2255 bears certain similarities to both a state motion for collateral relief under Wis. Stat. §974.06 and a federal habeas petition challenging a state conviction under 28 USC §2254. However, there are too many differences to detail here. A motion under §2255 is most often used to claim that the defendant's attorney at trial or on appeal was ineffective, or that newly discovered evidence or a recent change in the law provides a basis for relief.

The important points for someone contemplating a §2255 motion to keep in mind are (1) such a motion must be filed within one year after the direct appeal from the federal conviction becomes "final," and (2) you likely will be barred from raising any issue that you could have raised on the direct appeal but failed to do so. Also critically important to keep in mind is that, except in extraordinary circumstances, a defendant is entitled to only one motion under §2255. Accordingly, the defendant should be certain that all potential challenges to the conviction and/or sentence are raised in the first §2255 motion.
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