Fort Worth TX Criminal Appeals Lawyer
Arguing Criminal Appeals Cases in Texas Requires Attention to Detail – but Experience Helps
Cody L. Cofer has experience in briefing and arguing appeals at the intermediate court level and at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. A criminal appeal is generally taken from a conviction formally embodied in the judgment. The criminal judgment will reflect that the accused was convicted and the judgment will set out the terms of the sentence to be imposed. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Ann. art. 42.01. The sentence becomes part of the judgment that orders the punishment or sentence to be executed. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Ann. art. 42.02.
Why you need a criminal defense lawyer well versed in appeals:
Your right to appeal can be thwarted if the record does not include the trial court’s certification that the defendant has the right of appeal. In the absence of this certification in plea bargain cases the appeal generally must be dismissed. You may lose your right to appeal by explicit waiver, although this is often overshadowed by the generally more stringent rules providing for waiver or forfeiture of appellate rights by certain pleas of guilty. Generally, the right to an appeal cannot be reasserted after you have waived it. In very few cases, an appellate court may abate an attempted appeal and remand for inquiry into matters related to the effectiveness of a waiver in the record. A valid waiver of appeal, whether negotiated or non-negotiated, will prevent a defendant from appealing without the consent of the trial court.
There are many procedural steps that must be taken to perfect your right to appeal. Your appeal in noncapital criminal cases is perfected by the filing of notice of appeal, which is governed by Texas Rules of Appellant Procedure, Rules 25.2, 26.2, and 26.3. Capital cases (those in which the death penalty was assessed) do not require, because appeal is mandatory in those death penalty cases. Your record for an appeal is based the record created in the trial court. Matters not adequately brought within the trial court record (generally by objection or motion) cannot later be included within the appellate record because the appellate record is limited to the trial court record.