Dallas Criminal Appeals Attorney John Helms | T: 214-666-8010
Don’t take chances with an inexperienced attorney. Your FREEDOM is at risk
Dallas, TX, Jan. 8, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – For many people, the legal terminology used in a criminal proceeding can be confusing or overwhelming. When your freedom is at stake, an unfamiliar process and all of the new words and phrases that come with it could leave you feeling frustrated.
One area of confusion is the difference between acquittal of a crime and filing an appeal after a conviction. Navigating the criminal justice system is difficult for most people, which is why it is important to discuss your case with one experienced Texas Appeals Attorney as soon as possible.
What is acquittal against appeal?
In short, an acquittal means that a person will go through criminal proceedings and ultimately be found not guilty. There is no need to appeal your case as the court or jury has determined that you are not guilty of any crime.
If someone is acquitted, the government cannot appeal the jury’s negligence, but in certain circumstances the government can appeal against instructions from the jury, evidence decisions, and the like. In contrast, someone convicted of a crime has the right to appeal their conviction to a higher court.
If you have been acquitted of some charges but not others, you can appeal the charges that led to a conviction.
Depending on the circumstances of the conviction, you may also be able to file a motion asking you to go to trial because of an error or misconduct by the prosecutor or jury during your trial.
When someone appeals, they are asking a higher court to review and amend or reverse the court’s decision, or return the case for retrial. In most cases, the defendant appeals the actual conviction.
However, there are instances when a defendant may be more likely to appeal the judgment than the conviction.
Texas Appeals Courts
There are 14 appellate courts in Texas that are considered intermediate courts. Courts of appeal hear cases from both the criminal and civil systems. The appellate courts are assigned cases in their geographical jurisdiction.
Every Texas appeals court has a chief judge and at least two additional judges who hear cases as part of a panel. Under Texas law, an appeals court can have up to 13 judges.
How an appeal works
In state courts, the appeal process usually begins with the accused submitting a “notice of appeal” within a certain period of time. This is a brief document showing that the defendant intends to appeal. It is very important to submit the notice of appeal before the registration deadline, as failure to meet this deadline may result in the defendant losing the right to appeal.
After filing the notice of appeal, the defendant will file a “brief”, which is a written argument detailing the mistakes made by the court and explaining why the mistakes should be rescheduled, set aside, or otherwise Justify relief.
Once the defendant has submitted his pleading, the government will respond with its own pleading in response to the defendant’s pleading.
After that, the defendant can submit a reply letter in response to the government’s letter. A reply letter cannot bring forward new arguments or alleged errors that were not made in the original letter.
The appellate court, which is composed of a jury, then either decides on the appeal on the basis of the written submissions only, or the court can hear oral statements from both sides. During a hearing, it is typical for the judges on each side to ask questions about their position on the issues of the case.
It is important to note that the appellate court can only examine those parts of the proceedings where the defendant claims the court misunderstood it. That is, the appeals court cannot simply repeat the entire process. A calling is not a “second opinion”. The appeals court will uphold the conviction unless there is a grave error, even though the appeals court judges may not agree with the result.
If the appeals court upholds the defendant’s conviction, the defendant has the right to refer to the Texas Appeals Court (the state’s highest criminal court) to consider the appeal. An appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals is not automatic. This court can decide which cases to consider. The appeals court actually accepts a small percentage of the cases it is supposed to hear. Still, if the appeals court agrees to consider the appeal, you must convince that court that you should win.
If the appeals court refuses to consider the appeal or if it upholds the conviction, the defendant may be able to ask the United States Supreme Court to hear their case. However, the US Supreme Court accepts very few cases and only those that raise important legal or constitutional issues that would apply to cases across the country.
If you plead guilty, can you appeal?
The fact that you plead guilty does not technically mean that you cannot appeal. However, the situations in which you actually could victory on appeal are very limited because you admitted you were guilty. In fact, in most opposition agreements, the defendant gives up the right to appeal under the opposition agreement, except in extremely limited circumstances.
When a person or family member comes to me after a confession of guilt about a possible appeal, I usually offer to investigate the possibility of an appeal at a reduced rate instead of agreeing to appeal. If I do some research and believe that there is no basis for a calling, I will tell them. If I think there is a possible basis for a calling, we can discuss whether they want to continue. I do this because there is seldom any real basis on which to appeal after admission of guilt.
Working with a Texas Criminal Appeals Lawyer
Appeal cases can be complex, so it is in your best interests to work with an attorney who has experience handling appeal cases in Texas. If you have been convicted of a crime, speak to a knowledgeable Texas appeals attorney such as Dallas Attorney John Helms about your case.
John Helms Texas Criminal Appellate Lawyer
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Dallas Criminal Appeals Attorney John Helms | T: 214-666-8010