If a Houston court has convicted you of a crime and given you a sentence, all hope is not lost. It may be possible to file an appeal to a higher court, requesting a review of the previous court’s decision. There may have been legal errors that affected the outcome, in which case the higher court may overturn the conviction. Appeals are delicate legal processes that require in-depth knowledge of the paperwork and actions required. To discuss your chances of appeal after a conviction, contact our team right away.
When Are Appeals Possible?
Those convicted of criminal crimes in Texas can file an appeal when it is believed that legal errors, misconduct by the jury, and ineffective legal counsel resulted in a faulty conviction. Legal errors may include lack of sufficient evidence, improperly admitted evidence, or incorrect jury instructions. The appellate court will conduct a review to find if a legal error affected the outcome of the case before granting an appeal. Misconduct by the jury can include drug or alcohol use, improper communication between the jurors and witnesses, or improper conduct during the trial.
Ineffective legal counsel means the defendant believes he or she did not have adequate representation and that it affected the outcome of the case. If you want to make an appeal on the basis of ineffective legal counsel, you need lawyers who understand effective legal counsel. Our attorneys have helped clients make these types of appeals in the past and know what it takes to prove the ineffectiveness of a lawyer’s representation.
About the Appeals Process
The first step in making an appeal is to go to the state appellate court. If this fails, the defendant can appeal to the state’s highest court – the Supreme Court of Texas. This court will only review an appeal in a small percentage of cases. An appeal is not a retrial, but rather a review of the lower court’s proceedings to check for errors or other grounds for appeal. The higher court will look at all documents, evidence, trial proceedings, and post-trial motions. There are three main goals for making an appeal:
- To ask the trial judge to overturn a guilty verdict and enter a non-guilty one.
- To move for a new trial. This asks the judge to declare a mistrial, set aside the previous verdict, and start over.
- To seek a writ. When asking for a writ, you are asking a higher court to reverse a conviction in certain situations, such as when new evidence is discovered.
A successful appeal may either restore a case to its beginning stages, or end a case altogether. If the appellate court finds there is not enough evidence to retry the defendant, the case may end then and there. To file an appeal, you need a talented team of criminal defense attorneys in Houston. You must first file a written brief detailing the reason(s) for the appeal, then wait for the appellate court to issue a decision. If you need to go to a higher court, the process only gets more complex.
Retain Experienced, Aggressive Attorneys in Houston
An appeal is no small matter. You need the best attorneys in Houston to maximize your chances of success with the appellate or higher courts. No matter the outcome, you will stay informed about your rights and what to do during this difficult and often complicated process. We are your confidants, counselors, and friends during the complex appeals process. Contact us today for more information.