If you have been convicted of a crime in Texas, you probably have lots of questions about what will happen in the future. You may feel desperate to overturn your conviction. Attorney Christopher Abel of Abel Law Firm Has helped many clients successfully appeal their criminal convictions. Below, we will address some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Texas criminal appeals process.
Can a Lawyer Predict My Chances That an Appeal Will Succeed?
Unfortunately, even the most experienced appellate lawyer will not be able to predict the future regarding whether the appellate court will reverse your conviction. If you have spoken to an attorney who says he can guarantee that he will overturn your conviction, you should avoid that lawyer. Appellate courts generally prefer to uphold the decisions of the lower courts. That means they only overturn decisions in cases in which it is obvious that the lower court made an error. It is impossible to predict how the appellate court will rule.
What are My Options After I Have Been Convicted?
Most people are not familiar with the process of appealing a criminal conviction, and it can seem overwhelming. Those who have been convicted of a crime in Texas have several options. First, they can request a motion for a new trial. The defendant can request a motion to acquit by showing that the trial court did not have enough evidence against him or her for any rational jury to convict. The defendant can directly appeal the conviction to a higher state or federal court.
Or, the defendant can request a writ of habeas corpus at the federal or state level. Finally, the defendant may be able to appeal to the state supreme court. Keep in mind that the Supreme Court only hears certain cases, so not every case is appealed to the Texas Supreme Court. In rare cases, a defendant may be able to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court takes up just a tiny percentage of cases, however.
A direct appeal is different from a writ. A writ only applies after the defendant lost his or her direct appeal. Direct appeals are focused on asking the Appellate Court to consider the facts within the trial Court’s record, including the transcripts of the trial. When new evidence comes to light that is not in the trial court record and is compelling for the defendant’s defense, the defendant would likely benefit from filing a writ instead of seeking a direct appeal.
Do I Need an Appeals Lawyer?
The criminal appeals process is different from the trial court process. As a result, if you plan on appealing your conviction, you need an attorney who has an in-depth knowledge of Texas appellate procedure and law. Attorney Christopher Abel has decades of experience representing clients in appellate criminal cases. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can fight for your rights.