How to Successfully Win a Criminal Appeal in Texas

How to Successfully Win a Criminal Appeal in Texas

A criminal appeal can be a second chance for defendants who have been found guilty. The process is complex, but it’s possible to improve your chances of success.

No matter how strategic the defense, a defendant may find themselves facing an unfavorable judgment or harsh sentence. The criminal appeal process provides an opportunity to change the outcome of a criminal trial; however, the process is incredibly complex.

While the legalities of the appeal process will be handled by your criminal defense or appellate attorney, it’s important that defendants in a criminal case are aware of what is involved in an appeal and what can be done to increase the chances of earning a favorable ruling from the Texas appellate courts. Here’s what the Dallas appellate attorneys at the Broden & Mickelsen, LLP think you should know.

What to Know About the Appeals Process in Texas

When a defendant receives a guilty ruling in a criminal trial, they have the opportunity to challenge the judgment in the Texas Court of Appeals. The Appeals process in Texas involves multiple important steps, several of which actually occur during the trial phase of the criminal case.

To earn an appeal in Texas, the defense must show legal error existed in either the pre-trial or trial phase. In addition to this, the trial court must have been given the opportunity to correct the error. This is typically accomplished by the defense attorney stating objections throughout the trial. If an appellate attorney fails to establish legal error, an appeal will fail to hold the traction it needs for further consideration.

When an appeal is pursued in a criminal case, a motion is filed with one of the fourteen District Court of Appeals in Texas. These courts exercise an incredible amount of discretion when reviewing the details of each appeal. There are very specific circumstances under which an appeal may be granted and the majority of motions that find their way to the court fail to meet these standards.

The odds may seem stacked against a defendant in the appellate court; however, there are steps that can be taken to improve the odds of a favorable outcome.

Tips for Winning an Appeal in the Texas Courts

For a defendant, the appeals process can appear daunting. It’s absolutely essential to work with an experienced appellate attorney in Dallas who can take the most complex case, synthesize the details and build a solid foundation for an appeal. Defendants also play an important role in ensuring a successful appeal. Consider these tips for winning an appeal in the Texas Courts.

  1. Speak Openly with Your Defense Attorney about the Potential of an Appeal. Your Dallas criminal defense attorney’s responsibility is to prepare and present a defense that either clears the charges against you or minimizes the severity of penalties issued. Still, your attorney should be thinking about the possibility of a guilty verdict being returned. Ask your defense attorney what they are doing to lay the groundwork for a successful appeals process should one be needed.
  2. Maintain Honesty with Your Defense Attorney. In order for an appeal to be considered, an attorney needs to write a fair, thorough and compelling account of the basis for the request. Trust that the appellate judges are going to look scrupulously at the details of your case. It’s important to trust your attorney and speak honestly with them throughout your trial and into the post-trial appellate proceedings.
  3. Encourage Swift Action. An attorney has a limited time to file a motion for an appeal in response to a guilty verdict. There are advantages to an attorney beginning the appeals process by filing the motion with appropriate paperwork before leaving court the day a guilty verdict is returned.
  4. Hire an Appellate Attorney. Most attorneys have at least one area of specialization and it works to the defendant’s advantage when this area of specialization aligns with circumstances surrounding their case.
    Even the most experienced and successful criminal trial attorneys might not possess the necessary expertise to strategically approach the appeals process. Working with an attorney in Dallas who specializes in appellate law greatly increases your chances of success.

Contact a Dallas Appellate Attorney

If you’ve found yourself on the receiving end of a guilty verdict, a Dallas appellate attorney can prepare a criminal appeal that has the best odds of earning a favorable judgment from the District Courts of Appeals in Texas. You don’t have to sit back and accept the judgment and sentence that was issued to you. Exercise your right to an appeal by contacting the best appellate attorneys in Dallas at the Broden & Mickelsen, LLP today.

Dallas Best Criminal Defense Lawyers
Broden & Mickelsen, LLP
(T): 214-720-9552


Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case.

Mick Mickelsen is a nationally recognized criminal trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience defending people charged with white-collar crimes, drug offenses, sex crimes, murder, and other serious state and federal offenses.