In Texas, when someone is convicted of a crime, he or she generally has the right to appeal under Art. 44.02 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. However, if a defendant pleads no contest or guilty while entering a plea bargain with the state, he or she has a limited time to file an appeal. If a defendant enters a plea bargain, he or she can only appeal:
- Issues raised in a pre-trial motion and ruled before the plea was entered, or
- Issues the trial court gives the defendant permission to appeal or challenge.
“Can the state file an appeal?” In certain limited circumstances, yes. The reasons why the state can appeal are covered under Art. 44.01 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The state may appeal a case for the following reasons:
- Dismissal of the charging instrument, or
- Changing a judgement, or
- Granting a new trial, or
- Granting a motion to get evidence suppressed.
Beginning the Appeal Process
Suppose a defendant is convicted of a crime and he wants to file an appeal. To begin the process, his attorney will file a notice of appeal with the trial court. This informs the trial court that the defendant is challenging its judgement. If a well-prepared appeal is filed properly and in a timely manner, it can have the effect of involving the court of appeals.
In a Texas criminal case, the defendant has 30 days from the date of sentencing to file an appeal. If a timely motion for a new trial is filed, the deadline is thereby extended to 90 days. When it comes to deadlines in appeals cases, almost all of them can be extended. Essentially, the party who is required to act by a specific date or time must file a motion with the court for more time. It’s not unusual for a defendant to ask for two or three extensions so they can file a brief.
Who decides on an appeal? “Appellate cases are usually decided in a court of appeals by a panel of three Justices who are assigned to decide the case,” according to texasattorneygeneral.gov.
To learn more about the appeals process in Plano, Dallas or Fort Worth, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today.