The Role of a Criminal Defense Appeal Lawyer

Understanding the Role of a Texas Criminal Defense Appeal Lawyer

A criminal defense appeal lawyer is a specialized criminal defense attorney in Texas. When a person is charged with a crime, they are presumed to be innocent unless the State proves them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But after a person is convicted of a crime, they are presumed to be guilty. Going forward, nearly every burden rests on the defendant. A criminal appellate lawyer serves several roles in this situation.

Deadlines for criminal appeals

First, he ensures that all deadlines are met in the appeal. It is the trial lawyer’s duty to file a notice of appeal or a motion for a new trial. The appellate attorney makes sure the trial lawyer files them in a timely manner. He can assist in writing and arguing the motion for a new trial.

Second, he ensures that all the required documents are filed in the appeal. In all criminal appeals, the trial court must file a certification of the defendant’s right of appeal. The court of appeals may dismiss the appeal if this is not filed. A criminal appellate attorney will make sure that the court files it. Additionally, the clerk of the court must file a Clerk’s Record. It contains certain documents that were filed in the court during a criminal case.

It is the appellate attorney’s job to ask the Clerk to file the record. He also specifies what documents should be included. To know what documents should be designated, the appellate attorney will review the history of the criminal case and determine which documents are necessary to demonstrate error on appeal. Similarly, the court reporter must file a Reporter’s Record. That is a transcript of the trial or hearing that is being appealed. The appellate attorney must specify which parts of the transcript are to be included. He does so by filing a Request for the Reporter’s Record.

The primary role of a criminal defense appeal lawyer

Third, he reviews the record for reversible errors. This is the appellate attorney’s primary role. To reverse a criminal conviction, the court of appeals must find that the trial court committed some error, that the error was preserved (or not required to be preserved), and that the error was harmful. The appellate attorney will read the entire trial record and all documents filed in the court and identify such errors. He will then research the law as it applies to the case’s specific facts. He then makes his argument to the court of appeals in a legal brief.

Fourth, he presents oral arguments to the court of appeals. Sometimes, the court of Appeals determines that an oral argument is necessary to resolve the case. An oral argument is a hearing in which the appellate attorney can explain his arguments to a panel of Justices (or, sometimes, to the entire court of appeals) and answer their questions. Oral argument is a powerful opportunity to convince the court and to clear up any lingering doubts the justices may have.

Finally, he determines whether the case merits further review. If the court of appeals overrules all of the issues in an appeal, the court will affirm the conviction. Most criminal cases end here. However, a defendant can ask the court to rehear the case and file a petition for discretionary review in the Court of Criminal Appeals. To do either of these, he must identify very specific errors by the court of appeals that justify further review.

Contact our criminal defense appeal lawyer right away

Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian‘s experienced, board-certified criminal appeals lawyer understands the rules, legal principles, and techniques required to fulfill each role. He will ensure that all deadlines are met and all documents are filed. The criminal defense appeal lawyer can identify issues that will actually show reversible error. He is skilled in delivering legal arguments to the court. And he knows how to persuade the court, either on direct appeal or on further review. Contact us right away to ensure your appeal is filed on time.

Related Posts

Criminal Appeals: Five Things to Know

How to Appeal a Conviction in Texas: A Step-by-Step Guide

Understanding Wrongful Convictions: What You Need to Know

How to Get Credit For Time Served in Jail

Written by: Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian Last Updated : May 24, 2024