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Next step in denied criminal appeal by Supreme Court of Virginia?

Alexandria, VA |

If a criminal appeal has been denied in the Supreme Court of Virginia, what is the next step to continue fighting the case? Should I file a Writ of Habeas Corpus in Virginia or in the Federal court?

Where can I find a legal aid who specialize in Habeas Corpus in Virginia? I am a low-income individual.

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Attorney answers 2


If your state's supreme court had denied your appeal your next step in the process is probably going to have to be to federal district court.


This response is given for informational purposes only.

It should be noted that, if you feel like there is a Federal constitutional issue in the case and it was raised (but denied) in the Supreme Court of Virginia, you have the option of seeking certiorari in the United States Supreme Court before beginning the habeas process.

Assuming for the moment that you would prefer to go the habeas route, keep a thing or two in mind: any issues not previously raised and ruled on in the Virginia courts will be deemed procedurally defaulted by a federal court if you choose to file there first. However, if you file a state habeas and raise such issues, but are unsuccessful in your efforts, you can then go back and raise the issues in a federal habeas after the state habeas has been ruled on, assuming you meet certain (very, very strict) time deadlines.

THIS IS A VERY CURSORY EXPLANATION OF THE PROCESS. What you really need to do at this stage is get in touch with an attorney who is experienced in habeas matters and discuss your issues and the procedural position of the case. You should do so as soon as possible as there are limitations issues left and right in this type of proceeding which are, more or less, designed to place many roadblocks between you and a judge hearing your case on its merit.

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