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How Does The Appeal Process Work?

Conroe, Texas criminal appeals lawyer for notices and briefs

Understanding The Criminal Appeals Process

If you are convicted of a crime at either the state or federal level, this may not necessarily be the end of your legal journey. If you were wrongfully convicted, if you received an excessive or unjust sentence, if your rights were violated, or if there were other concerns about the fairness of the trial, you may be able to pursue a criminal appeal. The appeals process is a crucial part of the criminal justice system, and it will allow you to seek a review of your case by a higher court. A successful appeal could result in the reversal of the conviction, a new trial, or the modification of a sentence. However, the appeals process can be complex. There are important deadlines that cannot be missed. The appeals process also requires a thorough understanding of the law that many trial attorneys are not familiar with. Because of this, the guidance of an experienced criminal appeals attorney is vital as you seek post-conviction relief.

The team at Pullan & Young has decades of experience working as both prosecutors and defense attorneys in criminal trials and appeals. We have represented numerous clients throughout every phase of the criminal justice process, and we understand the unique concerns that defendants face when they need to pursue appeals to address unjust results in criminal trials. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of defendants and ensuring that they are able to seek relief. Regardless of the complexity of your case, we will fight for justice on your behalf.

Steps Followed During a Criminal Appeal

The process of pursuing an appeal can be complicated, and it requires a comprehensive knowledge of the procedures that will be followed, the time limits for filing motions, and the information that should be provided to an appellate court. Our attorneys can ensure that all steps in the appeals process will be followed correctly, including:

  1. Notice of Appeal: The first step in the appeals process is to file a Notice of Appeal. This document indicates your intention to challenge the court's decision. There is a strict timeline within which this document must be filed. For state appeals in Texas, a notice must be filed within 30 days after a verdict was issued, although this deadline is extended to 90 days in cases where a defendant files a motion for a new trial. In federal appeals, a Notice of Appeal must be filed within 14 days after a judgment was issued in a federal criminal trial.
  2. Preparation of the record: The appellate court must be provided with a full record of the proceedings in a criminal trial. This record will include all the documents, evidence, and transcripts from the trial court. The information provided will serve as the basis for the appellate court's review.
  3. Briefs: As the appellant, you will prepare and submit a brief, which is a written argument that outlines the legal and factual reasons why the trial court's decisions were made in error. The appellee (the prosecutor representing the state of Texas or the federal government) will file a brief in response. You may also file a reply brief responding to the arguments made in the appellee's brief.
  4. Oral arguments: In some cases, the appellate court may hold proceedings in which both sides will be allowed to make arguments. Oral arguments are concise presentations where attorneys representing the prosecution and defense present their case before the appellate judges and answer any questions the judges may have.
  5. Decision: After reviewing the record and considering the arguments presented in the briefs and during oral arguments, the appellate court will make a decision. The court may affirm the conviction, reverse it, or remand the case back to the trial court for further proceedings.
  6. Post-Decision Motions: If you are not satisfied with the appellate court's decision, you may choose to file a motion for rehearing, or a subsequent appeal may be filed to have the case reviewed by a higher court. Depending on the situation, it may be possible to appeal a case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Contact Our Conroe, TX Criminal Appeals Attorneys

Addressing the many complex issues involved in a criminal appeal requires a great deal of knowledge and experience. At Pullan & Young, we can help you understand whether an appeal may be possible in your case, and we can ensure that the proper procedures will be followed as you address the issues that led to an unfavorable outcome in your criminal trial. We will do everything we can to protect your rights and interests while fighting for a fair and just outcome to your case. To discuss your case in a free consultation, contact us at 936-647-1540.

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