If you have been convicted of a Lubbock drug crime, you can pursue an appeal or a writ of habeas corpus through the Texas courts. If those remedies are unsuccessful, your last resort is generally a collateral review proceeding in federal court. A Lubbock drug appeals attorney can help with this.

You can only raise federal issues in federal court. A federal issue usually involves the denial of a constitutional right. Most errors that affect the fairness of your trial can be raised as a denial of the right to due process, which includes the right to a fair trial. Other rights that can be the basis of a federal challenge to a conviction or sentence include:

  • The failure to exclude biased jurors from your jury
  • The denial of your right to compel the testimony of witnesses
  • The denial of your right to confront and cross-examine witnesses
  • The denial of your right to the effective assistance of counsel
  • Basing a sentence on inaccurate facts
  • The entry of a guilty plea that was involuntary or the result of inadequate knowledge of the plea’s potential consequences

Federal challenges to state convictions or sentences are raised in a motion (known as a 2254 motion) that is filed in federal district court. The motion is filed in the district that includes the county where the drug conviction took place. The motion is similar to (and a substitute for) a federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus. A motion must be filed within one year after the Texas drug conviction becomes final.

Right to An Appeal

If you are convicted of a federal drug crime, you have the right to appeal. A direct appeal is one of several post-conviction remedies available to individuals who have been convicted of a federal crime. It is usually the first remedy people pursue. Other remedies may be lost if a convicted defendant does not file a direct appeal.

An appeal from a federal drug conviction is taken to the United States Court of Appeals in the circuit that has jurisdiction over the district court in which the conviction was entered. An appeal is essentially a written argument that asks a panel of judges to overturn the conviction or sentence, usually because of a legal error that was made in the district court.

An appeal can be filed from any conviction, whether the conviction is entered after a trial or after a guilty plea. There are usually more issues to raise on appeal when a conviction follows a trial, but sometimes fruitful issues can be raised on appeal after a guilty plea is entered. For instance, if a suppression motion was unjustly denied, it may be possible to raise that issue after a guilty plea.

Call a Lubbock Drug Appeals Attorney Today

If you have been convicted of a federal drug offense, you need an experienced Lubbock drug appeals lawyer to help. You only have a few days after your sentencing to file a Notice of Appeal so you need to act promptly. Call Hamilton Grant today to learn more about your right to appeal.