Dallas, TX , July 25, 2020 Defendants who have been accused, convicted, and sentenced have the legal right to appeal the court’s decision, provided that the decision was not the result of a guilty plea. Appealing the decision of a court is an important legal concept that is essential to our form of justice. But what happens when justice gets it wrong?
Losing an appeal in Texas might feel like the end of the road, but it does not necessarily mean that your case is over. Knowing the options available can make it possible to keep defending yourself against the charge.
The Legal Grounds for Appeal
Once a criminal defendant has been convicted and sentenced by a district court, that defendant has the right to file an appeal to a higher court. The goal of the appeal is to convince the higher (appellate) court to review the decision of the lower court for mistakes and /or legal errors.
The appellate court can decide to either uphold, reverse, or modify the ruling of the lower court. If the original ruling is upheld, then the next step is petitioning the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
What to Do If You Lose an Appeal in Texas
The first step after losing a criminal appeal may be filing a motion for rehearing. The purpose of this motion is to simply request that the appeals court reverse its decision. Usually, the motion for rehearing is not granted unless new circumstances or evidence has been brought to light.
If the motion is denied, then the defendant has 30 days to submit a Petition for Discretionary Review in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. As the name suggests, this petition asks that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals review the decision. This petition explains why the case is special and why the appeals court decision should be overturned.
How Successful Are Appeals?
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only 11.9% of state-level criminal appeals cases resulted in the reversal or modification of a lower court decision.
Common Issues in Texas Criminal Appeals
The following are some of the most common issues raised in Texas criminal appeals:
- Motion to Suppress Evidence
- Motion to Suppress a Statement
- Lack of Sufficient Evidence
- Inadequate Representation
- Incorrect Jury Instructions
- Prosecutorial Misconduct
- Juror Misconduct
- Excessive or Unlawful Sentence
Texas & Federal Defense Lawyers Broden & Mickelsen, LLP
2600 State St Dallas, Texas 75204
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