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Secrets of the Texas Criminal Justice System and Your Rights
Being convicted of a crime can devastate a person and their family members. There are usually serious consequences, such as jail sentences or heavy fines. The family has to deal with the loss of the person for a considerable amount of time. The individual then has a criminal conviction on their record that will limit their opportunities in employment, education, housing, and for immigration purposes.
With such a wide range of consequences, most people will appeal their conviction in the hopes of having the earlier decision overturned, so they can return home to their family and friends. With going through the appeals process you will want to speak with an Amarillo appeals lawyer that has experience dealing with appeals cases as the court of appeals is completely different from the first trial court. Contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney to begin working on your appeal today.
Texas Appeals Process
In Texas, an appeal is made to one of the fourteen appellate courts throughout the state. Unlike the original trial, an appeal trial has three judges to hear each case. Also, unlike most other states, Texas does not allow criminal cases to go to its supreme court. Instead, the court of appeals is the highest level an appeal can be made at the state level. Furthermore, an individual does not have to stay with their original lawyer. In fact, a new lawyer may be the basis for the appeal. By speaking with an Amarillo appeals lawyer, individuals can get a better idea of the options they have in their appeal.
Appeal by State
A person should be aware that they are not the only one entitled to appeal a decision. The prosecution, or government, may appeal a decision if the individual was acquitted in an earlier case. The state can appeal a decision if the case was dismissed or a new trial was ordered.
Additionally, the state can actually make an appeal while a person’s original trial is ongoing, to appeal a specific part. For example, if there was a motion where evidence was suppressed, the government can appeal just that decision so they can present that evidence in the trial.
Appeals by the Defendant
If a person pleads guilty or nolo contendere and now wants to fight the conviction, they have to get permission by the trial court first before they apply for an appeal. While a person is awaiting an appeal based on a new trial or for a misdemeanor, they have the right to a reasonable bail so they do not have to remain in prison. Typically, for more serious offenses, the person must remain in custody until the appeal.
Individuals should be very careful about the time limit they have to file an appeal. If an appellant does not meet this time requirement, they could end up losing their right to appeal. Generally, the motion for an appeal must be made within 30 days of the sentencing.
However, if someone’s lawyer filed a motion for a new trial, then the notice of appeal has to be made within 90 days. There are different deadlines for federal cases; this is why it is so important to speak to an Amarillo appeals lawyer as soon as possible.
How an Amarillo Appeals Attorney Can Help
Not only can an Amarillo appeals lawyer help you file your appeal in time, they will also be able to help you understand what your basis for the appeal is. When appealing a case, the grounds have to be based on law, not fact.
The trial court looks at the facts and the law. However, an appellant specifically needs to show that there was a legal error made. These kinds of distinctions and arguments are best made by an Amarillo appeals lawyer who has worked on appeals cases before. To preserve your freedom and take some of the stress off of your family, a lawyer can help you fight your case and ease your concerns about your appeal.