IF YOU LOST YOUR TRIAL OR PLEADED NO CONTEST OR GUILTY IN STATE COURT, BUT ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH THE OUTCOME, IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO?
Some lawyers handle appeals and others do not. If you have hired an attorney be sure to ask early on whether you will have to hire a different one in the event you decide to appeal. This will usually be spelled out in the fee agreement.
Following a trial, you may appeal your case to the Texas Court of Appeals provided you file a Notice of Appeal within thirty days of your conviction. Following a plea, you may appeal your case only in very limited circumstances. If the appeal concerns the trial court’s “jurisdiction” to hear your case, the trial court denied one of your written motions, or if you receive permission from the trial court to appeal. A Notice of Appeal would still have to be filed within thirty days.
If you lose an appeal in the Texas Court of Appeals, you can then ask the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and then the United States Supreme Court to consider your case. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the United States Supreme Court are allowed to pick and choose the cases they will hear and, as a result, both courts hear a small number of cases that are submitted and tend to accept only those cases raising issues that might have an effect on many different cases.
After losing an appeal, you can file a post-conviction petition for a Writ for Habeas Corpus if you believe you were denied a constitutional right or if you believe your lawyer was ineffective. Such petitions must first be filed in state court and can later be filed in federal court. However, that there are strict deadlines for filing petitions in federal court. You should consult with an experienced appellate lawyer regarding these deadlines.