Texas Criminal Appeals

An appeal to a higher court may be possible if you disagree with the result at the trial level or feel you were treated unfairly. You may also appeal, in limited circumstances, a plea of guilty to the charged offense. I have many years experience in the state court system and do top-notch work. I'll thoroughly review your case to see what issues are available to appeal.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

A jury or judge found me guilty, but I disagree with the result, what are my options?

A higher court may review the trial to determine whether the verdict supports the evidence presented and to ensure that your rights to a fair trial were not violated.

I worked out a plea bargain with the prosecutor, can I still appeal the result?

Generally, some pleas require that you waive the right to appeal; however, you may still appeal if: (1) the appeal concerns the trial court's jurisdiction to hear the case; (2) the appeal concerns pre-trial motions; or (3) you obtained the trial court's permission to appeal.

What are the deadlines for filing a notice of appeal?

A notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days from the date you are sentenced in open court.

How long does the appellate process take?

The appeals process is rather lengthy and can take at least six months and last for many years. Generally, after the notice of appeal is filed, the clerk and reporter are required to file their respective records of the proceedings below. Then, your brief is filed, followed by the respondent's brief. Next, the justices set the case for submission, discuss the case, and then issue the opinion. Although the rules provide for certain timeframes, extensions are almost always filed.

Can I bond out pending the appeal? Appellate bonds are possible; however, they are within the trial court's discretion.

Why does the appellate court find error but not reverse my case? Many times, the reviewing court will determine that an error occurred in the proceedings below; however, to determine whether the error affected the case such to warrant a reversal, the appellate court will perform a harm analysis. If the court determines that the error was harmless, the trial court's decision will not be reversed.

If I lose my appeal, what I can do next? After the appellate court issues an opinion, the losing party may file a motion for rehearing. If the rehearing motion is overruled, you can petition the Court of Criminal Appeals to review your case, and then the United States Supreme Court. However, those courts usually only hear cases that affect a change in the law. But all is not lost. After mandate issues by the appellate court - a document that states that the conviction is final - you can file a writ of habeas corpus if you believe your constitutional rights were violated.

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