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Criminal Appeals

After a person has been convicted of a criminal offense in Texas, he or she may still be able to appeal the decision to an appellate court and seek to have the judgment reversed. It is important to understand that appeals cannot be filed simply because of dissatisfaction with a case outcome. Criminal appeals are usually based on some type of error committed by a trial court.

It is extremely important for any person who has been convicted of any criminal offense to fully understand what all of his or her options are to possibly overturn the decision of the trial court. People often have a limited amount of time to take the appropriate legal action.

Attorney for Criminal Appeals in Conroe, TX

Were you or your loved one recently convicted of a criminal offense in Montgomery County or Harris County? You will want to make sure that you have legal counsel capable of reviewing every aspect of your case to determine whether there may be grounds to file an appeal.

Conroe criminal defense lawyers Sean Evans and Frank Powell represent clients convicted of all kinds of crimes in communities throughout Montgomery County and Harris County, such as The Woodlands, Shenandoah, Panorama Village, Porter Heights, Oak Ridge North, Cut and Shoot, and many others. Our attorneys will provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation as soon as you call (713) 622 - 2000.

Montgomery County Criminal Appeals Information Center

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Types of Criminal Appeals in Texas

Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure § 21.2 establishes that a motion for new trial is a prerequisite to presenting a point of error on appeal only when necessary to adduce facts not in the record. A motion for new trial must be filed within 30 days of the day the court imposed the sentence, and the defendant must present the motion for new trial to the trial court within ten (10) days of filing it, unless the trial court in its discretion permits it to be presented and heard within 75 days from the date when the court imposes or suspends sentence in open court.

Under Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure § 21.3, a defendant must be granted a new trial, or a new trial on punishment (new trial means the rehearing of a criminal action after the trial court has, on the defendant’s motion, set aside a finding or verdict of guilt; new trial on punishment means a new hearing of the punishment state of a criminal action after the trial court has, on the defendant’s motion, set aside an assessment of punishment without setting aside a finding or verdict of guilt), for any of the following reasons:

  • except in a misdemeanor case in which the maximum possible punishment is a fine when the defendant has been unlawfully tried in absentia or has been denied counsel;
  • when the court has misdirected the jury about the law or has committed some other material error likely to injure the defendant’s rights;
  • when the verdict has been decided by lot or in any manner other than a fair expression of the jurors’ opinion;
  • when a juror has been bribed to convict or has been guilty of any other corrupt conduct;
  • when a material defense witness has been kept from court by force, threats, or fraud, or when evidence tending to establish the defendant’s innocence has been intentionally destroyed or withheld, thus preventing its production at trial;
  • when, after retiring to deliberate, the jury has received other evidence; when a juror has talked with anyone about the case; or when a juror became so intoxicated that his or her vote was probably influenced as a result;
  • when the jury has engaged in such misconduct that the defendant did not receive a fair and impartial trial; or
  • when the verdict is contrary to the law and the evidence.

If a motion for a new trial is denied, a defendant may be able to file an appeal. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 44.02 establishes that a defendant has the right of appeal. Trial courts are required to certify a defendant’s right of appeal each time it enters a judgment of guilt or other appealable order.

Cases involving plea bargains are more limited as defendants can only appeal:

  • Matters raised by written motions filed and ruled on before trials; or
  • After getting the trial court’s permission to appeal.

When a defendant has no other appeal options, he or she may still be able to file a writ—a formal written order issued by a court—such as a writ of habeas corpus or writ of certiorari. Writs are frequently used to review the constitutionality of criminal convictions and cases from appeals courts.

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Causes for Criminal Appeals in Montgomery County

Under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 44.01, the State is entitled to appeal an order of a court in a criminal case if the order:

  • dismisses an indictment, information, or complaint or any portion of an indictment, information, or complaint;
  • arrests or modifies a judgment;
  • grants a new trial;
  • sustains a claim of former jeopardy;
  • grants a motion to suppress evidence, a confession, or an admission, if jeopardy has not attached in the case and if the prosecuting attorney certifies to the trial court that the appeal is not taken for the purpose of delay and that the evidence, confession, or admission is of substantial importance in the case;  or
  • is issued under Chapter 64 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

The State is also entitled to appeal a sentence in a case on the ground that the sentence is illegal, or to appeal a ruling on a question of law if the defendant is convicted in the case and appeals the judgment. Defendants may be able to appeal on any one of a number of legal grounds, including—but not limited to:

  • Illegally-obtained evidence;
  • Insufficient evidence to convict; or
  • Court allowed evidence and/or testimony that should have been prohibited;
  • Court did not allow evidence and/or testimony it should have;
  • False testimony;
  • Jury instruction issues;
  • Jury/juror bias;
  • Ineffective counsel;
  • New evidence.

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Criminal Appeals Process in Texas

Misdemeanor offenses that are punishable by fines only are usually handled by justice and municipal courts. Montgomery County has five Justice of the Peace courts, and several cities and towns have their own municipal courts—many of which also have exclusive jurisdiction over alleged violations of municipal ordinances.

All justice courts and most municipal courts are not courts of record, which means that appeals from these courts are by trial de novo—meaning the case is tried again in the higher court, as though the original trial never occurred. Appeals de novo are usually handled by constitutional county courts, and Montgomery County’s five county courts at law have appellate jurisdiction over justice of the peace court and municipal court cases in addition to jurisdiction over misdemeanors involving possible jail time or fines of $500 or greater.

County Court at Law 1

210 W. Davis St.
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 539-7831

County Court at Law 2

210 W. Davis St.
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 539-7832

County Court at Law 3

301 N. Main St.
Suite 110
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 539-7973

County Court at Law 4

210 W. Davis St.
Suite 400
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 538-8174

County Court at Law 5

210 W. Davis St.
Suite 250
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 538-3615

Montgomery County is also served by nine district courts, which have original jurisdiction in felony criminal cases.

9th District Court

207 W. Phillips St.
Suite 306
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 539-7866

221st District Court

207 W. Phillips St.
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 539-7808

284th District Court

301 N. Main St.
Suite 201
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 539-7861

359th District Court

207 W. Phillips St.
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 539-7900

410th District Court

301 N. Main St.
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 539-7860

418th District Court

301 N. Main St.
Suite 217
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 538-3618

435th District Court

301 N. Main St.
Suite 113
Conroe, TX 77301
(936) 538-3532

Texas has 14 courts of appeals that have intermediate appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases appealed from district or county courts. Montgomery County falls with the jurisdiction of the Ninth Court of Appeals, while Harris County is served by the First Court of Appeals.

Final appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases actually rests with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, not the Supreme Court of Texas. The Court of Criminal Appeals is considered the court of last resort for all criminal matters in Texas.

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Evans & Powell, PLLC | Conroe Criminal Appeals Lawyer

If you or your loved one has been convicted of a criminal offense in Montgomery County or Harris County, it is in your best interest to explore whether you may be able to possibly have that judgment reversed. Evans & Powell, PLLC helps clients in Woodbranch, Patton Village, Pinehurst, Splendora, Magnolia, Willis, and many surrounding areas of Montgomery County and Harris County.

Sean Evans and Frank Powell are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Conroe who understand the complexity of the appellate process and work to preserve and exercise all possible legal challenges. Call (713) 622 - 2000 or fill out an online contact form to have our lawyers review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.

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Evans & Powell, PLLC