Following a criminal conviction, defendants can contest their charges or sentence when errors during the trial proceedings deprive them of their rights or affect the trial outcome. Defendants may appeal their convictions or sentences or pursue post-conviction relief. One such post-conviction relief is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Obtaining relief from a conviction or sentence on appeal or post-conviction proceedings involves complex procedures and legal issues. A criminal appeals lawyer can give you the best chance of overturning an unfair or wrongful conviction or erroneous sentence.
Our Collin County criminal appeals lawyers can help you through a variety of aspects of appealing your case, including:
- Challenging Sentences and Convictions
- Legal Assistance for Incarcerated Individuals
- Contesting Unfair Wrongful Convictions
Contact Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian for a confidential case evaluation if you were convicted after trial proceedings marred by errors. Or there was prejudice or misconduct that deprived you of your rights. Let our criminal defense attorneys advocate for the relief you deserve, such as resentencing, a new trial, or dismissing your charges.
Understanding the Criminal Appeals Process in Texas
When errors occur during a criminal prosecution and trial, they influence the outcome. It results in an unfair or illegal result and deprivation of a criminal defendant’s civil and constitutional rights. A defendant can file an appeal of their conviction and sentence. An appeal does not permit a defendant to retry the case before the appeals court. Instead, the defendant must identify a legal error during the trial court proceedings. To appeal a conviction and sentence, a defendant must file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the verdict. In practice, criminal defense attorneys file notices of appeal immediately after the trial court reads the verdict.
Contesting errors in the verdict
After filing a notice of appeal, a defendant and their legal counsel must gather a record of the trial proceedings for the appellate court to review. These include copies of the trial transcripts. A defendant or their attorney must also file an appellate brief. It identifies the errors raised on appeal and makes legal arguments to prove the error occurred. The state can file a response brief. The defendant then can file a reply brief to address arguments in the state’s brief. In most cases, the appellate court will also schedule oral arguments for the parties and their counsel to present arguments and answer questions from the appellate judges.
In Texas, criminal defendants may appeal as a right to the Texas Court of Appeals, the state’s intermediate appellate court. If the Texas Court of Appeals denies a defendant’s appeal, the defendant may petition for discretionary review by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. If the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denies review or affirms the conviction and sentence, a defendant may petition for a writ of certiorari to have their case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court at the Court’s discretion. But this is true only if a defendant has federal constitutional issues to raise.
The Intricacies of Post-Conviction Relief
After or instead of a direct appeal from a conviction and sentence, a defendant may pursue post-conviction relief. A defendant may obtain post-conviction relief when some fundamental error during the trial court proceedings deprives the defendant of their rights to a fair trial and affects the trial’s outcome. Post-conviction relief in Texas usually takes the form of an application for a writ of habeas corpus. In a habeas corpus proceeding, a defendant may raise claims such as ineffective assistance of counsel, illegal sentencing, or newly discovered evidence that exonerates the defendant.
Defendants can also pursue other forms of post-conviction relief. These include filing post-verdict or post-sentence motions. These motions may include a motion for a new trial or a motion to alter/amend judgment. A motion for a new trial identifies errors during the trial that unfairly prejudiced the outcome. A motion to amend or alter the judgment allows the trial court to correct any illegal portion of a sentence. These can include a prison term that exceeds the statutory maximum or fails to merge related convictions for sentencing purposes.
Writ of Habeas Corpus and Challenging Detention
Even while serving a prison sentence, a criminal defendant can apply for a writ of habeas corpus. This is important when the defendant obtains new evidence unavailable during the trial that tends to prove their innocence. They may show that bias, prejudice, or misconduct influenced the trial outcome. A successful application for a writ of habeas corpus can provide a wrongfully convicted defendant with meaningful relief from a conviction and sentence. It can include an order remanding the case for resentencing, a new trial, or, depending on the circumstances, dismissing the charges. Working with an experienced writ of habeas corpus lawyer will increase your chances of a favorable result in your case.
Strategies and Techniques in Appellate Litigation
Successful appellate or post-conviction litigation requires thorough investigation and review of the evidence, including avenues of investigation not fully explored during the criminal prosecution, to identify potentially winning claims and arguments. An appeal or post-conviction proceeding does not permit a criminal defendant to retry their case before another court. Instead, a defendant can only obtain relief after identifying some error or misconduct that affected the trial’s outcome and deprived the defendant of a fair proceeding.
Depending on the potential errors in the case, appellate or post-conviction litigation strategy may focus on specific aspects of the trial proceedings, such as jury selection or evidentiary motions. Criminal appellate attorneys may choose to focus on just a few of the most deserving issues while discarding other weaker claims to improve the overall persuasiveness of the appeal or habeas corpus application. However, when numerous errors occur during the prosecution, appellate attorneys may highlight every possible error to show that the defendant suffered manifest injustice.
Advancing Criminal Appellate Law: Attorney Doug Gladden’s Insights
Expert Commentary in the Field
In a recent KERA News article discussing significant changes in Texas’s judicial landscape, attorney Doug Gladden from Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian provided expert insights, showcasing our firm’s authority in criminal appellate law. Gladden’s comments highlighted the complexities and implications of these changes for the legal community and defendants alike.
Upholding Justice and Fairness
Gladden’s analysis not only reflects our firm’s deep understanding of the criminal justice system but also our commitment to ensuring fair trials and justice. At Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian, we leverage such expertise to champion the rights of those seeking appeals or post-conviction relief. Our proven track record, as evidenced by Gladden’s respected opinion, underscores our ability to navigate through intricate legal challenges and secure favorable outcomes for our clients.
How Our Firm Excels in Criminal Appeals and Post-Conviction Cases
At Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian, our attorneys have successfully obtained relief for multiple clients on appeal or through post-conviction proceedings. These include securing reduced sentences upon resentencing, new trials, or dismissal of charges after vacating convictions. Our firm focuses on pursuing appeals and post-conviction proceedings where we believe the client has a valid claim that may result in their conviction or sentence getting overturned on appeal or in issuing a writ of habeas corpus. We thoroughly review evidence and trial records to identify errors or new evidence that may alter the trial outcome. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience in criminal law to craft persuasive arguments supporting appeals or applications for post-conviction relief.
Contact a Criminal Appeals Lawyer from Our Firm Today
If you’ve decided to pursue an appeal or post-conviction relief after a criminal conviction, get experienced legal help to give yourself the best chance at a favorable outcome to your case. Call Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian today at (972) 369-0577 for a confidential consultation to learn how a criminal appeals lawyer from our firm will fight for your rights, reputation, and freedom on appeal or in post-conviction proceedings.
- Understanding Wrongful Convictions: What You Need to Know
- Legal Rights of Incarcerated Individuals in Texas
- How to Appeal a Conviction in Texas: A Step-by-Step Guide
- The Role of an Appellate Attorney in a Criminal Case
- Legal Options after a Conviction in Texas
- The Texas Three Strikes Law
- Pros and Cons of a No Contest Plea