In Texas, there is a select group of judges and lawyers who handle criminal appeals lawyer. Those individuals have board certifications in the appeals process. Therefore, they are well-equipped to handle the many challenges of appellate law.
With an appeals attorney in Fort Worth, Texas, you can dispute an unfair conviction. A successful appeal could change your life. Here at Cole Paschall Law, we can help you with the appeals process.
The Basics of Appeals
When you make an appeal, you’re asking a higher court to review a previous judicial decision. The Courts of Appeal review your appeal and examine the details of your case. As they do so, they consider whether or not the judge properly applied the law.
The appeals process is much different than a criminal court case. In a criminal trial, the court considers testimony and evidence. However, the Courts of Appeal does not hear testimony or view old evidence. The court only reviews the record from the original case.
Often, people turn to the Court of Appeals when one of the following has occurred:
- Evidence that impacted the original ruling was inadmissible
- The law was applied incorrectly
- There was insufficient evidence for the verdict
- The jury was given the wrong instructions
- There was an issue with the jury selection
What Happens During the Appeals Lawyer Process?
If you want to make an appeal, the first thing you should do is hire a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. The appeals process can be complicated and lengthy. With a lawyer by your side, you will improve your chance of success.
The first step in the process is to file a written notice of the appeal. You should do this as soon as possible as there is a deadline for filing. If you wait too long, you lose your chance to make an appeal.
Your lawyer will need to submit a brief. The brief explains some of the issues with the original decision. In it, you can find challenges to the ruling or finding, specific statutes that support the appeal, and case decisions that support your position. The opposing party can file their own brief in response to the original one.
After the briefs are submitted, the case goes to a group of justices. The court could schedule an oral argument, which allows both lawyers to argue their points. If the appellate judges have questions, they will ask them to the lawyers.
Usually, it takes a few weeks for the judges to decide on the case. One of them files an opinion that notifies you of the final decision. If the decision doesn’t work in your favor, you may be able to get your case reviewed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Is a Writ the Same as an Appeal?
In some cases, individuals opt to petition for a writ. There are some key differences between writs and appeals. However, there is one major similarity. Much like appeals, writs can be complicated. There are many rules regarding writs, and you need to follow them to get a positive outcome.
Typically, a writ is only allowed when an individual has no other way to resolve the situation. For instance, they may not be able to make an appeal. The writ can address a certain issue that cannot be mentioned in an appeal.
This could be an issue that is not visible in the record of the court case. An example is an attorney who failed to use a specific defense. With an appeal, there is no way to address that failure. But a writ allows them to bring attention of the failure to the court.
How to Handle Your Conviction
In Fort Worth, there are about 33,124 crimes every year. Although police officers work hard to limit those numbers, they can’t catch every criminal. Sometimes, they even end up putting the wrong party behind bars.
If you’re wrongfully convicted of a crime or had your rights violated, your future might seem bleak. However, there is hope. There are several steps you can take to change your conviction. You can challenge a guilty verdict with an appeal, writ, or a motion.
Although you may experience several failures, you could face success down the line. As you make your way through the state court system, you can try different strategies to obtain justice. Once you’ve exhausted all of your options in the state court system, you can make your way to the federal court system.
No one should have to navigate the appeals system alone. Without the help of an experienced attorney, you could find yourself wondering what to do. Here at Cole Paschall Law, we want to provide you with the top representation available. Because we have years of experience with appeals, we know what it takes to get results. Contact our office and learn more about your options.