Being convicted of a serious crime is an overwhelming and devastating experience. Fortunately, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will be able to aid you in discovering whether or not appealing your conviction is possible.
Dallas criminal attorneys Broden and Mickelsen, who have been awarded the title of Texas Super Lawyers every year since 2004, answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Texas criminal appeals.
I Disagree with the Outcome of My Trial. Can I File an Appeal?
You won’t be able to file a successful appeal just because you don’t like the way your trial turned out. Being unhappy with the outcome of your prosecution by itself isn’t a legitimate reason to file an appeal.
To be successful in getting the appeals court to hear your case, you need to be able to show evidence that the trial court made a mistake in your case, or that the prosecutor had some kind of prejudice.
What Happens if I Lose My Appeal Case?
Once the appellate court has made its decision, you may be eligible to ask the court for a rehearing. However, this can be overruled. If that occurs, your next option is to file a petition for review with the Court of Criminal Appeals.
If you lose at the Court of Criminal Appeals, the next step is to file a petition with the United States Supreme Court. This is known as a writ of certiorari.
Keep in mind, however, that the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear a limited number of cases per year, and it typically restricts its docket to cases that involve unsettled areas of law, conflicting opinions from various federal courts, or issues with wide-ranging implications for constitutional rights.
Do I Have to Stay in Prison While My Appeal Is Pending?
In some cases, an appellant may be permitted to remain out of prison while their appeal is pending. However, this isn’t always the case.
Whether the court agrees to release you on bond while your appeal is pending depends on the seriousness of the crimes involved in your conviction.
As you might expect, the more serious the crime, the less likely the court is to permit you to remain free on bond pending your appeal.
To read the rest of Broden and Mickelsen’s answers to frequently asked Texas criminal appeals questions, visit their website. If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime and are considering the option of filing an appeal, schedule a confidential today.
Tara Louise Pollnitz