Understanding the legal grounds for filing a criminal appeal is essential for anyone navigating the Texas criminal justice system. The appellate process in Texas is not about re-trying a case but challenging aspects of the legal process that might have led to an unfair outcome. While other post-conviction relief may be available, such as habeas corpus relief through a new trial for newly discovered evidence or ineffective assistance of counsel, the appeal process is focused solely on determining whether a legal error occurred during the trial that affected the case outcome. Appellate lawyers can effectively identify and articulate these issues, possibly overturning a wrongful conviction. Here, we discuss possible grounds to appeal a conviction in a Texas criminal case.
The Judge Gave Improper Jury Instructions
Judges provide guidelines to the jury on how to interpret laws and apply them to the case. If these instructions misrepresent the law, it could affect the verdict. An attorney could cite these inaccuracies as grounds for a criminal appeal.
The Trial Court Failed to Properly Admit or Suppress Evidence
Evidentiary issues are another possible basis for appeal. During a trial, both sides present evidence to support their arguments. However, if the court wrongly admits or excludes evidence, it could unfairly influence the jury’s decision. An attorney can argue that the judge’s wrong ruling regarding evidence justifies an appeal. Identifying and articulating these errors is vital for a successful appeal process.
A Pre-Trial Motion Was Denied in Error
Another possible ground for appeal is that a pre-trial motion was denied in error. For example, your trial lawyer may have argued that police conducted an illegal, warrantless search. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement conducts a search without a warrant or probable cause and evidence from that search appears in a trial, this could be grounds for appeal. If this type of violation occurs, your attorney can argue that it affected your trial’s fairness and outcome, warranting a review and possible reversal of the conviction.
These are just a few examples of possible grounds for appeal, but there are others. If you believe you have grounds to appeal your conviction, you must act quickly. Under Texas law, you only have 30 days after being sentenced to file a notice of appeal. Broden & Mickelsen, LLP offers a free consultation to discuss your case and explain how we might be able to help.
Contact a Texas Criminal Appeals Lawyer Today
The state and federal criminal appeals attorneys at Broden & Mickelsen, LLP are deeply familiar with the legal standard for appeal and the specifics of Texas state law and federal law. Trust our board-certified appellate law specialists to advocate for you in post-conviction proceedings and criminal appeals. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how our Texas criminal appeals lawyers can defend your rights.