Criminal Appeals Lawyers Based in Austin, TX
If you want to file an appeal, put your trust in an experienced appellate attorney
In the U.S. justice system, an unfavorable verdict isn’t the end of the road. The appeals process offers a beacon of hope, a chance to challenge and rectify potential oversights. At Botsford and Roark, our Austin, TX criminal appeals lawyers are here to help you navigate these uncharted waters.
The Texas appellate system is characterized by meticulous adherence to legal detail. Therefore, success typically demands the in-depth knowledge, precision, and experience with Texas’ legal intricacies that our appeals attorneys possess.
If you want to file an appeal in Central Texas, contact our appellate lawyers in Austin for a free case evaluation. We can listen to the details of what happened and let you know if you have a strong case to file an appeal. There is no obligation to hire, just information you can trust from an Austin criminal defense law firm with decades of experience. Our case results include:
- Reversing a conviction for conspiracy to impede IRS due to insufficient evidence
- Defendant granted a new trial following their conviction in drug conspiracy case
- Reversing a guilty plea for failure to comply with requirements relating to the guilty plea colloquy
How do I appeal a criminal case in Texas?
An appeal isn’t a re-trial or a chance to present new evidence. Instead, it’s a process to review and challenge the decisions of lower courts, ensuring that legal errors which might have affected the verdict are addressed. The Texas criminal justice appeals process is a multi-step procedure. Here's an overview of how it works:
- Notice of appeal. To initiate the appeals process, you must file a formal notice of appeal with the trial court within a specified timeframe, typically within 30 days of an unfair judgment being entered. In Travis County, you will likely file an appeal with the 3rd Court of Appeals located in Austin.
- Appellate briefs. Your attorney, aka the appellant's counsel, will file an appellate brief outlining the legal arguments for your appeal. This document summarizes the issues raised during the trial, cites legal precedent, and argues why the conviction should be overturned or the sentence modified. The state, represented by the prosecution, also submits a response brief defending the trial court's decision.
- Oral arguments. In some cases, the appellate court may schedule oral arguments, during which both sides will present their cases and answer questions posed by the judge(s).
- Appellate court review. The appeal is typically heard by one of the Texas intermediate appellate courts, which are organized into 14 districts. Each district has a Court of Appeals responsible for reviewing cases from trial courts within its jurisdiction. The appellate judges review the trial record, the briefs, and the legal arguments to determine whether errors occurred during the trial that warrant a reversal, modification, or retrial.
- Appellate court decision. After reviewing the case, the appellate court issues a written opinion with its decision. If the court finds errors that prejudiced your rights, it may order a new trial, reduce the sentence, or dismiss the charges. If the court upholds the conviction, you may decide to make a further appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest criminal court in the state.
- Petition for discretionary review (PDR). If you want to continue after an unfavorable appeal, our appeals attorneys may file a PDR with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. This is a discretionary review, meaning the court has the option to accept or deny the case.
- Court of criminal appeals review. If the Court of Criminal Appeals accepts the case, it conducts a thorough review and may issue a final decision that affirms the conviction, orders a new trial, or modifies the sentence.
- Federal Habeas Corpus petition. If state-level appeals are exhausted, you may qualify to file a federal Habeas Corpus petition in federal court. This is typically the last resort for challenging a state conviction. The federal court reviews the case for constitutional violations, such as errors of due process.
- Supreme Court petition. In rare cases, a defendant may petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case, but the Court typically only accepts cases with significant constitutional implications. However, if that’s what your appeal requires, the legal team at Botsford & Roark has the credentials to make it happen.
Our appellate attorneys can give you a clear understanding of your options
It's important to note that the appeals process can be lengthy and complex. The outcome of an appeal depends on the specific facts of the case, the legal arguments presented, and the decisions of the appellate courts at each level.
Additionally, not all cases proceed through every step of the process, as appellate courts may decline to hear certain appeals or issues. Strict timelines apply to court appeals in Texas. Therefore, if a court got your case wrong, you must act right away.
Contact Botsford & Roark for a free and confidential case evaluation. We can answer questions and let you know if you have a strong case for an appeal.