criminal appeal

Appeals | The Criminal Appeal Process in Texas

Criminal Appeals

If you have been convicted of a crime after a trial or motion hearing, the judge and your attorney will advise you that you have a right to appeal. In some cases, you may have a right of appeal even if you after you have pleaded guilty – although these situations are rare.

The attorneys at Varghese Summersett PLLC have handled appeals in state and federal court. Four of our attorneys are also Board Certified in Criminal Law, a designation that less than 1 percent of attorneys in Texas hold. This makes them experts in criminal law and particularly suited to handle criminal appeals.

What is the criminal appeal process in Texas?

criminal appeal

What makes a criminal appeal successful?

A successful appeal is often a matter of thoroughly investigating the trial record and preparing convincing arguments to the court of appeals showing error in the trial courts decisions or actions.

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When do I need to give notice of appeal in a criminal case?

A notice of appeal should be filed within 30 days from the imposition of the sentence. For probation cases, that within 30 days from the date of revocation or adjudication and not from the date the defendant is placed on probation.

Our attorneys handle direct appeals and post-conviction matters. We do not, however, handle writs of habeas corpus involving claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Motion for New Trial

A motion for new trial is another tool in our arsenal for challenging an underlying conviction. 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. A motion for new trial extends the time to file a notice of appeal from 30 days to 90 days after the imposition of a sentence. The defendant must request an evidentiary hearing in the motion for new trial or it is lost. A motion for new trial on punishment may also be filed under Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure 21.1(b).

When must a motion for a new trial be presented?

A motion for new trial must be presented to the judge within 10 days from the filing of the motion for new trial. An evidentiary hearing must take place within 75 days of the imposition of the sentence. If the court does not rule within 75 days of the imposition of the sentence, the motion for new trial is overruled by operation of law, giving rise to another potential basis for appeal.

Pre-Trial Appeals (Interlocutory Appeals)

Our firm also handles pre-trial appeals in circumstances where an extraordinary remedy is called for.

Interlocutory Appeals

A defendant may use a pretrial writ of habeas corpus in limited circumstances including to raise certain issues which, if meritorious, would bar prosecution or conviction. Pretrial habeas corpus may be used to litigate the existence of probable cause to believe that the defendant is guilty of the charged offense. Ex parte Wright, 136 S.W.2d 212 (Tex. Crim. App. 1940). Note that the defendant is not entitled to pretrial habeas corpus relief where a magistrate found probable cause after an examining trial and the defendant introduces no evidence at the habeas hearing to undermine that finding. Ex parte Martin, 45 S.W.2d 965 (Tex. Crim. App. 1932).

A defendant initially may challenge the constitutionality of a statute in a pretrial motion to dismiss. State v. Wofford, 34 S.W.3d 671, 675 (Tex. App.—Austin 2000, no pet.). A defendant may not challenge the trial court’s denial of a pretrial motion to suppress evidence through a pre-trial appeal. Ex parte Conner, 439 S.W.2d 350 (Tex. Crim. App. 1969); Ex parte King, 134 S.W.3d 500 (Tex. App.—Austin 2004, pet. ref’d).

If you are interested in an appeal, either pre-trial or post-conviction, or if you are interested in other post-conviction remedies like certain writs, contact our office at (817) 203-2220 or online:

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Benson Varghese

Managing Partner at Varghese Summersett PLLC
Benson Varghese is the founder and Managing Partner of Varghese Summersett PLLC. He is a prolific writer and has authored hundreds of articles about criminal law in Texas and at the Federal level. His articles have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Above the Law, and have been selected as Top Blogs by the State Bar of Texas. He was named the Young Lawyer of the Year in 2019 by the Tarrant County Bar Association. Benson led the firm to become one of the 500 fastest growing businesses in the United States by Inc 500 Magazine in 2018. In the same year, the firm was named the Best Law Firm in Fort Worth by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The lawyers at Varghese Summersett PLLC exclusively handle criminal defense matters.
Benson Varghese