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Houston Criminal Lawyers: Need Assistance With Obtaining An Appeal?

Recommended Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer
Judges might be incorrect in their rulings. Innocent Texas criminal defendants are given unjust sentences regularly and needlessly suffer. These incorrect convictions generally occur because of very common errors made during the defense process. Quite often, the verdict might be corrected by seeking a Texas federal or state criminal appeal aided by highly trained Houston Criminal Lawyers familiar with the appellate process.

What is the definition of an appeal?

An appeal is defined as a request to a higher court by the losing party in a court action to overturn a lesser court’s verdict. The basis of an appeal has to be a reversible fault within the application of what the law states at the trial court level (i.e., in line with the facts, the court evidently misapplied the law).

In defense cases, a great appeal might concentrate on the conviction on its own or merely the sentencing portion associated with the decision without the need of regard to the particular fundamental conviction. By way of example, if the defendant is properly found guilty of manslaughter but a judge sentences the defendant to a prison term which is beyond the limit of the law, the defendant will undoubtedly appeal the prison term while leaving the actual conviction itself intact.

An appeal shall be filed only after the final judgment or order has been reached by the trial court. This is quite simply for reasons of efficiency, so that the court system isn’t bogged down by delays and trials aren’t continuously put on hold while waiting for appeals for the judge’s every verdict.

At the culmination of a trial, the losing party is also able to produce direct appeals (e.g., motion for a new trial, motion for directed verdict) to the presiding judge to instantly overrule the jury’s verdict, nevertheless these are hardly ever victorious.

Does an appeal constitute a new trial?

No. In a appeal there won’t be any brand new issues provided or witnesses designated to testify. The appellate court will simply assess the trial’s transcript and evidence introduced in the course of the trial to ascertain whether or not there were mistakes within either procedure or application of the law. Even though there were problems, when they are judged small – legally designated “harmless error” – the judgment won’t be overturned or a new trial granted.

Can any type of judgment be appealed?

The short response is no, there isn’t any absolute right to an appeal. Every state has laws which outline the sorts of cases that appellate courts may evaluate. There should be an error of law for an appellate court to evaluate a case. The reality that the losing party didn’t like the decision isn’t enough to sustain an appeal.

That being said, even in administrative courts or lower level courts, if a person’s constitutional protection under the law have been infringed upon, some might file a suit in order to enforce his or her privileges and/or to take another look at the original case.

What is the definition of the appeals process?

In Texas court proceedings, the appellant or petitioner (the party appealing the judgement) has to file a notice of appeal within thirty days of the verdict. In federal court, the deadline is sixty days. The filing of the notice of appeal starts the clock running on the appeals process and there are prescribed deadlines from this point on. The petitioner submits a legal brief detailing the alleged mistakes of law made by the trial court, and the respondent or appellee (the party that prevailed at the trial) creates an answer.

Once the appellate court receives both petitioner and respondent briefs, it will consider the arguments and prepare a determination of whether: a) there were errors of law made by the trial court, and additionally b) whether the errors rise to the level of “reversible error” (extremely serious errors). As mentioned above, harmless errors are likely to be disregarded by the appellate court.

There might or might not be oral arguments presented by petitioner and respondent. If the court makes a decision to hear oral arguments, the petitioner will present their arguments and additionally field inquiries from the judge(s) and then the respondent will do the same. Usually in most appeals, this question and answer format may last ten to fifteen minutes per side.

Whether the appeals court listens to oral arguments or issues a verdict centered merely on the written briefs, the court will either: 1) affirm the decision; 2) request a new trial; 3) change the ruling in some manner; 4) give consideration to new facts or evidence (seldomly); or 5) in particularly exceptional cases, may possibly dispose of the case completely.

What is the likelihood of a winning appeal?

The number of winning appeals is in fact minimal. Appellate courts allow the trial court great freedom in carrying out trials. The law is unable to promise ideal trials, accordingly appeals courts can only overturn decisions that have obvious, substantial errors of law.

Because of the flexibility appeals courts give trial decisions, petitioners bear a far greater responsibility in verifying that errors of law happen to be considerable rather than innocuous. If an appellate court can discover any satisfactory argument that the mistake could not have modified the decision (and is hence “harmless”), it will refuse to overturn the verdict.

There tend to be, naturally, a large number of cases where significant errors were made and appeals courts will overturn those decisions. Significantly serious are charges that the trial court refused the law assured by the constitution, most notably due process and equal protection rights.

I lost my trial due to the fact that my attorney made ridiculous errors, can’t I count on an appeal to correct them?
Don’t depend on appeals to compensate for any genuine or perceived inadequacies at trial. You must put all of your energy into the trial itself, which requires locating the correct lawyer to attempt the case. Effectively appealing a verdict since you had a deficient attorney is a challenging proposition. You cannot appeal simply because you just had a poor lawyer.

You can appeal on the basis that your attorney was so incompetent that you simply had been basically denied your 6th Amendment right to a fair trial (identified legally as an “ineffective assistance of counsel” appeal). This occurs virtually exclusively in criminal defense circumstances and the standard for the appeal is quite high – courts are incredibly deferential to the competency of attorneys and maintain a strong presumption that the lawyer’s help was within professional standards. To put it in perspective, there have been situations where an attorney has fallen asleep during a trial, yet the verdict was not overturned nor the case retried.

Many circumstances aren’t eligible for appeal due to the fact the trial attorney did not object to a ruling during the trial, and therefore didn’t “preserve” that issue for appeal. For example, a written statement from a witness accusing a defendant of robbery is entered into evidence, but the witness does not testify at trial. The defense attorney does not object and the defendant is convicted based solely on the written statement. The Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to face his accuser, a right which, if infringed, could form the basis for an appeal.

Because the lawyer neglected to object at trial to the admission of a written statement rather than live testimony, however, the defendant is regarded to have waived this priviledge and an appeal will possibly not be allowed on that issue.

The example sounds absurd; an attorney waives your constitutional protection through ineptitude, yet your appeal on the basis of inadequate assistance of counsel fails – but it happens frequently. An appeals court may reason that calling the witness to the stand wouldn’t have had any great effect for the defendant and for that reason the decision not to object may possibly be considered a trial strategy. That’s the type of deferential latitude attorneys get in ineffective assistance of counsel appeals as well as the reason why it is vital to pick your attorney wisely at the very beginning of the process and stay involved during each part of the trial.

What is the definition of a writ?

A writ is a directive from a higher court instructing a lower court or government official to take a specific action in accordance with the law. For instance, if a lower court decides to consider a legal proceeding that is outside of its jurisdiction, one or more of the lawyers concerned may object and seek a writ of mandamus (writ of mandate) from an appeals court ordering the lower court to reassign the case to another jurisdiction.

How do writs and appeals differ?

Writs are extraordinary court orders and solely issued in cases where a moving party (the one seeking the writ) has no other alternatives. In the case of the writ of mandamus from above, the moving party had to act quickly simply because the lower court improperly took the case. If the moving party had just objected at trial and waited to appeal, a remarkable waste of time and money would have taken place – and all for nothing at all if the trial court improperly took the case.

Generally, superior courts won’t review conclusions of a lower court until a final verdict is delivered, for the aforesaid reasons of efficiency and leeway given to lower courts. Unlike appeals, which need a final verdict, writs are instant orders and extraordinary in that the typical course of a trial is interrupted, potentially causing disorder and delay.

Courts do not necessarily take such events lightly and superior courts do not issue writs often. A court will only issue a writ when a lower court wrongly decided an issue, permanent harm would happen to a party, and there are no other options.

Courts may possibly also issue writs, such as writs of attachment and execution, in order to force compliance with a courts order by an unwilling party.

What’s the definition of a writ of habeas corpus?

A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought in to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he or she should be released from custody.

Literally translated, a writ of habeas corpus is a court order to “produce the body,” and is generally filed by those in prison, though they are also filed by those who have been held in contempt of court by a judge and either imprisoned or threatened with imprisonment. Also recognized as “the Great Writ,” habeas petitions are ordinarily referred to as the hallmark of the United States justice system. Distinct from other countries where the authorities may toss virtually anyone in jail and keep them there indefinitely without filing charges or conducting a hearing, habeas corpus serves as a check on the government and offers prisoners a legal avenue to protest their imprisonment.

A habeas corpus petition can be filed in state or federal court. Before filing in federal court, however, all state options must be exhausted first.

Everyone has the right to challenge illegal imprisonment or inhuman prison conditions. Like all writs, however, courts will insist on clear and convincing evidence in support of a writ and do not issue them frequently.

Houston Appeals Defense: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Dealing with the appeals process is hard and time consuming. The Experienced Houston Criminal Lawyers at the Charles Johnson Law Firm can help you plan your next move. Contact them today for a free initial consultation.

Houston Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

Houston Criminal Lawyers: Need Assistance With Obtaining An Appeal?
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Houston Criminal Lawyers: Coping with a Domestic Assault Arrest

Leading Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer
If someone in your family has been arrested for assault, you probably aren’t sure where to turn or what to do next. While your loved one’s criminal arrest is a daunting situation, you might do several things right away to obtain advice and control. In the event you (or another family member) happen to be the victim of the assault, that only complicates the situation.

A positive starting point is to speak to the Best Houston Criminal Lawyers at the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas who will guide you through the complicated maze of the justice system.

Simple Steps

You may take several straightforward measures which will provide the support you and your loved ones need.

  • Contact an Attorney
    As pointed out, securing a criminal defense attorney for your arrested family member is the first order of business. The sooner you obtain legal advice, the more effective it may be. A knowledgeable lawyer will strive to preserve the legal rights of your family member, thereby aiding you in looking out for your family’s best interests. Attorney Charles Johnson will first want to know where your family member is being held (if he or she remains in jail) and may perhaps want to meet with you to discuss the situation. Attorney Johnson will then need to gather the relevant facts to prepare a defense.
  • Take Care of Your Family
    Your family may be strongly affected by the charge, particularly if you have children. If one of you was the victim of the assault, it is very important to seek medical attention right away. Whether or not or not the assault happened within the family, you may possibly wish to obtain assistance; local social services or mental health professionals might provide valuable advice. Friends and extended family members can offer comfort — and assistance with child care, household tasks and other duties.
  • Support Your Arrested Family Member
    Being arrested is usually an unsettling experience, and your family member will probably need to have your support. If you are able to get in touch with each other after the arrest, remind your relative not to answer questions until an experienced criminal defense attorney is present; everything he or she says may be used against him or her in court. Try to help your family member remain calm. Tell your family member what you are doing on their behalf.
  • Contact the Jail
    If your relative is still in custody, contact the jail to discuss visiting hours; whether or not you need to supply additional information; any prescription drugs your loved one is taking; any sort of physical or mental illness that your family member may possibly have; and whether assignment to a mental health unit is appropriate. Find out whether or not your family member will stay in this jail and if there is a pending court date.
  • Make a Bail Decision
    In most cases, the judge will set bail at a hearing. If you cannot pay cash, you may possibly be able to post a bond for the amount of the bail; this may, however, require that you pledge your home or other valuable property to secure the bail bond. If your loved one does not show up for court dates, your property may then be seized by the bond company. It is your responsibility to decide whether or not the benefits outweigh the risks.

Houston Criminal Lawyers — The Best Assault Defense: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Dealing with the assault arrest of a family member is difficult and time consuming. A skilled and experienced attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Office in Houston, Texas will help you plan your next move and expertly guide you through this challenging ordeal.

Houston Criminal Lawyers: Coping with a Domestic Assault Arrest
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Arrested For Illegal Possession Of Prescription Drugs? This is Your Best Plan of Action.

The illegal sale or use of prescription drugs might bring about serious criminal charges. In the event you have been arrested for a forged prescription or the unlawful possession of a prescribed pharmaceutical, you will need the Best Houston Criminal Lawyer to protect your legal rights and fight on your behalf in court.

The Most Effective Houston Criminal Defense Attorney is going to be available at any sort of hour, 365 days /year to answer the questions you have and build your defense.

Any individual can be dependent on prescribed pharmaceuticals. Many individuals started out taking their drugs for health-related reasons, however became dependent. When their prescriptions ran out, they obtained the drugs by some other means. The Top Houston Criminal Lawyer understands the consequences of a criminal conviction for average, everyday men and women. They can certainly help you deal with any sort of of the following criminal charges:

  • Prescription Forgery
  • Sale of Prescription Drugs
  • Prescription Fraud
  • Illegal Possession of Prescription Drugs

The main goal in each individual prescribed pharmaceutical case is to prevent a jail sentence. The Best Houston Lawyer will help you explore alternative sentencing options, such as entering a drug treatment center. You could very well be in need of rehabilitation, not a jail sentence. Looking forward, they will help you get the assistance you need.

While the majority of prescribed drug cases involve painkillers, the Most Dedicated Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer will handle criminal charges involving an array of drugs, for an array of clients, including juveniles. If your case involves any of the following prescribed pharmaceuticals or others, they can certainly help:

  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Vicodin
  • OxyContin
  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Soma
  • Seroquel

Houston Prescribed Drug Possession/Sales Defense: The Most Dedicated Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

Trafficking in prescription medicine carries with it substantial prison sentences and hefty fines. Having five oxyCodone pills (4.26 grams) in your possession leads to mandatory sentence of 3 years minimum, with greater amounts ending up with sentences of up to Twenty five years. Some other prescription drugs that are prosecuted under the category of trafficking are Vicodin, opium, Valium, amphetamines and Ritalin. Labeling a person to be a drug trafficker because that person does not have a legitimate prescription for pain medication can destroy a person’s life. Frequently he or she is dependent on the drug, but wouldn’t be permitted to participate in a drug diversion program because he may be arrested for a first degree felony. If you or a family member has been charged with possession or trafficking of prescription drugs, or other prescription drug crimes, the Best Houston Attorney can prepare a strong defense for your case.

Prescription fraud is when forgery, misrepresentation or counterfeiting is used to illegally procure prescription drugs. This could be done for private use or to distribute or sell these drugs to other persons. Prescription fraud is typically accomplished by stealing, altering or creating fake/counterfeit blank prescription slips. Other crimes having to do with prescribed drugs are selling one’s own legal prescription or distributing it to other individuals and illegally manufacturing prescribed drugs.

Whether you have been arrested for prescription drug possession, sale, or fraud, you ought to take these charges as seriously as any sort of other drug arrest. Call the Best Houston Criminal Defense Attorney for a no cost preliminary consultation.

Appeals Process and Habeas Corpus FAQ

What is the definition of an appeal?

An appeal is defined as a petition to a higher court by the losing party in a court action to overturn a lower court’s ruling. The basis of an appeal is required to be a reversible mistake in the application of the law at the trial court level (i.e., in line with the facts, the court plainly misapplied the law).

In defense cases, an appeal may target the conviction on its own or just the sentencing portion regarding the decision without any regard to the particular underlying conviction. For instance, any time a defendant is properly convicted of manslaughter but a judge sentences the defendant to a prison term that’s beyond the limit of the law, the defendant will only appeal the prison term while leaving the actual conviction itself intact.

An appeal shall be filed only after the final judgment or order has been reached by the trial court. This is quite simply for reasons of efficiency, so that the court system isn’t bogged down by delays and trials are not constantly put on hold while awaiting appeals associated with a judge’s every verdict.

At the conclusion of a trial, the losing party may also produce direct appeals (e.g., motion for a new trial, motion for directed verdict) to the presiding judge to immediately overrule the jury’s judgement, nevertheless these are rarely effective.

Does an appeal constitute a new trial?

No. Within an appeal there aren’t any brand new issues presented or witnesses named to testify. The appellate court is only going to evaluate the trial’s transcript and evidence offered in the course of the trial to determine whether or not there were errors within either procedure or application of the law. Even though there were faults, when they are considered insignificant – legally named “harmless error” – the judgment will not be overturned or a new trial granted.

Can any sort of judgment be appealed?

The short response is no, there is no absolute right to an appeal. Each state has laws which outline the kinds of cases which appellate courts may consider. There must be an error of law for an appellate court to examine a case. That the losing party didn’t like the decision is not really enough to sustain an appeal.

That being said, even in administrative courts or lower level courts, if an individual’s constitutional legal rights have been infringed upon, some may sue in order to enforce their rights and/or to take another look at the original case.

What is the appeals process?

In Texas court proceedings, the appellant or petitioner (the party appealing the judgement) needs to file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the verdict. In federal court, the deadline is 60 days. The filing of the notice of appeal starts the clock running on the appeals process and then there are prescribed deadlines from this point on. The petitioner submits a legal brief detailing the alleged errors of law made by the trial court, and the respondent or appellee (the party that prevailed at the trial) writes a response.

Once the appellate court receives both petitioner and respondent briefs, it will assess the arguments and make a determination of whether: a) there were errors of law made by the trial court, and b) whether the errors rise to the level of “reversible error” (highly serious errors). As noted above, innocent discrepancies are going to be disregarded by the appellate court.

There may or may not be oral arguments given by petitioner and respondent. If the court makes the decision to hear oral arguments, the petitioner will present his or her own arguments and field inquiries from the judge(s) and after that the respondent will do the same. Usually in most appeals, this question and answer format usually lasts ten to fifteen minutes for each side.

Whether the appeals court listens to oral arguments or issues a judgment based merely on the written briefs, the court will either: 1) affirm the decision; 2) order a new trial; 3) change the ruling in some manner; 4) take into consideration new facts or evidence (seldomly); or 5) in extremely infrequent cases, may perhaps dispose of the case entirely.

What is the likelihood of an effective appeal?

The number of effective appeals is in fact marginal. Appellate courts allow the trial court great flexibility in carrying out trials. The law doesn’t necessarily promise perfect trials, accordingly appeals courts are only going to overturn verdicts that have clear, substantial errors of law.

Because of the leeway appeals courts give trial decisions, petitioners possess an even greater burden in verifying that errors of law happen to be serious and not benign. If an appellate court can discover any satisfactory argument that the oversight might not have changed the decision (and is therefore “harmless”), it will refuse to overturn the verdict.

There are, naturally, a number of cases where significant errors were made and appeals courts will overturn those decisions. Notably serious are charges that the trial court refused rights secured by the constitution, that include due process and equal protection rights.

I lost my trial due to the fact that my attorney made foolish errors, can’t I depend on an appeal to correct them?

Don’t rely on appeals to make up for any genuine or perceived inadequacies at trial. You must put all of your energy into the trial itself, which involves locating the proper lawyer to try the case. Effectively appealing a verdict since you had a deficient attorney is a challenging proposition. You cannot appeal since you simply had a poor lawyer.

You can appeal on the basis that your attorney was so incompetent that you simply had been essentially denied your 6th Amendment right to a fair trial (known legally as an “ineffective assistance of counsel” appeal). This occurs almost exclusively in criminal defense situations and the standard for the appeal is very high – courts are extremely deferential to the competency of attorneys and maintain a strong presumption that the lawyer’s assistance was within professional standards. To put it in perspective, there have been circumstances where an attorney has fallen asleep during a trial, yet the verdict was not overturned nor the case retried.

Many circumstances aren’t eligible for appeal simply because the trial attorney did not object to a ruling during the trial, and therefore didn’t “preserve” that issue for appeal. For example, a written statement from a witness accusing a defendant of robbery is entered into evidence, but the witness does not testify at trial. The defense attorney does not object and the defendant is convicted based solely on the written statement. The Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to face his accuser, a right which, if infringed, could form the basis for an appeal.

Because the lawyer failed to object at trial to the admission of a written statement rather than live testimony, however, the defendant is deemed to have waived this right and an appeal will possibly not be allowed on that issue.

The example sounds absurd; an attorney waives your constitutional right through ineptitude, yet your appeal on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel fails – but it happens frequently. An appeals court may reason that putting the witness to the stand wouldn’t have had any positive effect for the defendant and due to this fact the decision not to object could be considered a trial strategy. That’s the type of deferential latitude attorneys get in ineffective assistance of counsel appeals and the reason why it is absolutely essential to decide on your attorney wisely at the very beginning of the process and stay involved during each part of the trial.

What is the definition of a writ?

A writ is a directive from a higher court ordering a lower court or government official to take a specified action in accordance with the law. For example, if a lower court decides to try a case that is outside of its jurisdiction, one or more of the legal professionals involved may object and seek a writ of mandamus (writ of mandate) from an appeals court ordering the lower court to reassign the case to another jurisdiction.

How are writs and appeals different?

Writs are extraordinary court orders and only issued in cases where a moving party (the one seeking the writ) has no other options. In the case of the writ of mandamus from above, the moving party had to act quickly because the lower court improperly took the case. If the moving party had merely objected at trial and waited to appeal, a remarkable waste of time and money would have taken place – and all for virtually nothing if the trial court improperly took the case.

Generally, higher courts won’t review conclusions of a lower court until a final verdict is delivered, for the formerly discussed reasons of efficiency and leeway given to lower courts. Unlike appeals, which require a final verdict, writs are on the spot orders and extraordinary in that the normal course of a trial is disrupted, potentially causing disorder and delay.

Courts do not take such events lightly and superior courts do not issue writs often. A court will only issue a writ when a lower court wrongly decided an issue, irreparable harm would occur to a party, and there are no other options.

Courts might also issue writs, such as writs of attachment and execution, in order to force compliance with a court order by an unwilling party.

What’s a writ of habeas corpus?

A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be moved to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he or she should be released from custody.

Literally translated, a writ of habeas corpus is a court order to “produce the body,” and is generally filed by those in prison, though they are also filed by those who have been held in contempt of court by a judge and either imprisoned or threatened with imprisonment. Also known as “the Great Writ,” habeas petitions are very often referred to as the hallmark of the United States justice system. Unlike other countries where the governing administration may toss virtually anyone in jail and keep them there indefinitely without filing charges or conducting a hearing, habeas corpus serves as a check on the government and offers prisoners a legal avenue to protest their imprisonment.

A habeas corpus petition can be filed in state or federal court. Before filing in federal court, however, all state options must be exhausted first.

Everyone has the privilege to challenge illegal imprisonment or inhuman prison conditions. Like all writs, however, courts will insist on clear and convincing evidence in support of a writ and do not issue them frequently.

Houston Appeals Defense: The Charles Johnson Law Firm

Dealing with the appeals process is tough and time consuming. An experienced attorney from the Charles Johnson Law Firm in Houston, Texas can help you plan your next move. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Call us at 713-222-7577 or toll free at 877-308-0100.
Major Credit Cards Accepted.

 
 
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