Crimes charged by the government can be appealed after a conviction or sentencing has been made, and federal appeals can be filed right after the trial. Tom Abbate represent clients on appeals for both felony and misdemeanor appeals in Texas. The purpose of an appeal is to review decisions of the trial court or lower tribunal to determine if the legal error has occurred. Legal error is harmful if it affects the outcome of the case.

Upon conviction in a circuit court, the defendant has the right to file an appeal in the Circuit Court of Appeal. Tom Abbate handles appeals in the Circuit Court of Appeal as well as Texas post-conviction relief, habeas corpus and Texas federal appeals.

Appeals are not trials and are not intended to give a litigant a second opportunity to re-argue the facts of his or her case. The appellate court does not serve as a second jury, but will review motions for summary judgment, jury trials, bench trials, and appeals of all final and non-final orders for lower court error.

The following is a general overview of the criminal appeals process in Texas:

  • Sentencing in trial court: After a conviction, sentencing is handed down at the trial court level.
  • Court of appeals: You have 30 days after sentencing (there are exceptions to this where extensions can be made) to file a notice of appeal. The appeal is filed in one of the 14 court of appeals in Texas.
  • Texas Court of Criminal Appeals: If the case is not remanded or reversed at the court of appeals level, you have 45 days to file an appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. This is the highest appellate court level in Texas.
  • United States Supreme Court: The next level would be to file a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.
  • Appeal United States Supreme Court ruling

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