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What Is a Writ & What Does It Mean for My Case?

What Is a Writ & What Does It Mean for My Case?

A writ is defined as a formal written order issued by a higher court which directs a lower court or a government official to take some form of action. Warrants, orders, directions, and subpoenas are all considered writs.

When it comes to criminal cases, a defendant may file multiple writs in one trial. Defendants may seek several types of writs from appellate judges directed at the trial court or at a lower appellate court.

The following are the most common types of writs which can apply to your case:

  1. Writs of certiorari – Orders a lower court to deliver its record in a case so that the higher court may review it. The word “certiorari” is Latin, meaning “to be more fully informed.”
  2. Writs of habeas corpus – Challenges a prisoner’s detention. So, if a person has been illegally detained, the individual, a friend, or a relative can file a writ of Habeas Corpus. The term “habeas corpus” is Latin, meaning “let us have the body.”
  3. Writs of prohibition – Also known as a “stay order,” this type of writ stops a lower court or a body from acting beyond its powers.
  4. Writs of coram nobis – Allows a court to correct its original judgment upon discovery of a fundamental error which did not appear in the records of the original judgment’s proceedings and would have prevented the judgment from being pronounced. The term “coram nobis” is Latin, meaning “before us.”

A writ can only be filed if your fundamental rights are being violated. If you are interested in filing writ, speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

If you have been arrested for a crime in Southern California, contact Tedford & Associates and request a free consultation with our Pasadena criminal defense lawyer today.


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