Criminal Appeals Lawyer

Dallas / Fort Worth Appellate Attorney – Justin Sparks Law Firm

Criminal AppealsIf you have been convicted of an offense in Fort Worth and believe that errors or mistakes occurred in the trial court, whether by the judge, the jury, the prosecutor, or your own trial attorney, you have the right to appeal and have the applicable court of appeals review the trial court proceeding for error.

Whether you believe errors or mistakes occurred in the trial court or you want an appellate attorney to review your case for potential errors, you should contact a competent criminal appeals lawyer immediately so that you do not lose your right to appeal.

Appealing a Conviction in Texas

Filing a Timely Notice of Appeal

In all criminal cases in Texas state courts except death penalty cases, a defendant who wants to appeal a conviction must file a notice of appeal within thirty or sixty days after the sentencing, depending on whether a motion for new trial was filed in the case. Because of the limited time to appeal, if you have been convicted of a crime and want to appeal the trial court’s ruling, you should immediately discuss your right to appeal with a Fort Worth appellate lawyer.

Written Brief Sent for Review by Court of Appeals (COA)

After timely filing a notice of appeal and after the appellate court receives the record of the trial court proceedings, the appealing party (the appellant) must file a written brief with the court of appeals pointing out specific errors that occurred in the case and citing to applicable law as support. The written brief must comply with a number of procedural rules. The other party (the appellee) then has the opportunity to file a written brief in response.

The court of appeals reviews the parties’ written briefs and may hear brief oral arguments from the lawyers for each side, but the court will not hear witness testimony or retry the case. If the court of appeals decides that an error occurred in the trial court, the court of appeals may, depending on the error, order a new trial or enter a judgment of acquittal. The court of appeals will issue a written opinion stating its decision.

What the Court of Criminal Appeals Does

The court of appeals can review whether the prosecution presented sufficient evidence to support the verdict or whether the defendant’s trial attorneys were ineffective. The court of appeals can decide questions of law, such as whether the trial court correctly applied the law to admit or exclude evidence or whether the trial court gave the jury proper jury instructions. The court of appeals can review a variety of other legal issues, but it will not hear additional testimony, consider additional evidence, or retry a case.

If the appellate court agrees that there was an error in the trial court, the court of appeals will often also have to decide if the error harmed the appellant. For example, if the court of appeals decides that the trial court erred by admitting certain evidence at trial, it will also need to decide if the defendant was harmed by that evidence, in other words, whether the verdict would have been different if the trial court had correctly excluded that evidence.

Need to File an Appeal? Call Sparks Law Firm!

If you have been convicted of an offense in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, and believe that errors or mistakes occurred in the trial court, whether by the judge, the jury, the prosecutor, or your own trial attorney, you have the right to appeal. To get this done the right way, call the criminal appeals lawyers at Sparks Law Firm. 817-334-0300