If you are convicted after a trial or receive an unfair sentence, you have the right pursue a post-conviction remedy. That might include a direct appeal to the Texas Court of Appeals and, if that does not succeed, a request for further review by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals with the assistance of a defense attorney. It may also involve a writ of habeas corpus that is filed pursuant to Rule 11.07 of the Texas Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Definition of a Criminal Appeal
An appeal is a legal request to a higher court to review a decision made by a trial court judge. If the appellate court concludes that the trial court judge erred, the appellate court can vacate the trial court’s decision.
Not every criminal case can be appealed. Specific legal grounds for an appeal must exist. The appellate court does not “retry” the case, it simply decides whether the trial court judge made errors that impacted the case’s outcome.
A direct appeal generally focus on errors made by the trial court. For instance, if the court improperly denied a motion to suppress evidence and that evidence was used against you in your trial, your conviction may be reversed on appeal and a new trial ordered. If the judge considered improper factors in imposing a sentence, you may be entitled to a new sentencing hearing.
Our appeals attorneys in Lubbock initially consult with clients and review important documents to determine whether appealable grounds exist. If so, a meeting with the client is scheduled to discuss representation as the appeal moves forward.
It is determined rather quickly whether appealable grounds exist. In addition, firm founder Stephen Hamilton is Board Certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This means that he has satisfied the rigorous standards required to hold himself out as a Lubbock criminal law specialist. As a Lubbock appeals lawyer, he puts his knowledge to work when assessing criminal appeal matters.
Once hired to handle an appeal, appropriate paperwork is filed. Research of the legal issues at play in the case is conducted and used to draft documents that explain the client’s position. An explanation of how the trial court judge erred is presented and the appellate justices are asked to rule in the client’s favor. If given the opportunity, an oral argument is conducted in front of the justices assigned to the case. Judges then have the chance to ask questions about the legal issues in dispute.
After the justices rule on the matter, the client is informed of the outcome. The greatest effort will be put forth to see that justice is done.
Types of Appeals
A direct appeal generally focuses on errors made by the trial court. For instance, if the court improperly denied a motion to suppress evidence and that evidence was used against the client in trial, the conviction may be reversed on appeal and a new trial ordered. If the judge considered improper factors in imposing a sentence, the client may be entitled to a new sentencing hearing.
A writ of habeas corpus may be the correct remedy if new evidence is discovered in the case, if an entry of a guilty plea was not voluntary or made without full knowledge of the crime or its consequences, or if the trial lawyer made serious mistakes. In those cases, the client may be asking the court to vacate the conviction or sentence and to grant a new trial or sentencing hearing.
Speak to a Lubbock Criminal Appeals Lawyer Today
An experienced post-conviction lawyer can help you decide whether to appeal and what remedy you should pursue. Consult with the skilled Lubbock appellate attorneys at Hamilton Grant if you are thinking about appealing or challenging a conviction or sentence.