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League City Criminal Appeals Attorney

League City Criminal Appeals Attorney

Correcting Errors & Fighting for Justice for Our Clients

Many defendants are surprised to find out that a conviction in court doesn’t end their case. Instead, most defendants have a right to appeal their jury verdict on various grounds. With an appeal, we ask a higher court to review the trial record below and reverse or vacate a conviction. This is not an easy thing to do. Appellate courts are very lenient and will twist themselves into knots to uphold a conviction. Texas appellate courts, in particular, have a reputation of rubber stamping any conviction delivered by a jury. Nevertheless, with the right attorney bringing your appeal, success is possible.

The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates can bring your League City criminal appeal in the correct way. This is a very technical part of the law, and not any attorney can represent clients in appellate court. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation to learn more.

Board-Certified* Criminal Defense Attorney for League City

Tad Nelson has the credentials and experience defendants need to successfully raise an appeal. He has represented many clients before appellate courts and has drafted many briefs focused on a variety of legal issues.

His extensive post-trial experience includes:

Direct appeal — We appeal our client’s case to the next highest state or federal court seeking review of one or more issues below.

  • Writ of habeas corpus —We can challenge your detention by filing this writ in court. Often, we allege there is no reason to hold you or that your Constitutional rights were abridged.  Habeas is one of the more technical aspects of law.
  • Motion for a new trial — Due to errors below, we often request that an appellate court grant a new trial.
  • Motion to vacate — We can request that an appellate court remove or withdraw a judgment of a trial court, such as a guilty verdict.
  • Forfeiture proceedings — The state often seizes a defendant’s property after an arrest. This type of asset forfeiture is controversial, because the state can help itself to all sorts of property it’s not entitled to, like your car or even your house. We can challenge an asset forfeiture in court.
  • Post-sentencing motion — Within 10 days of sentencing, we can bring this motion to challenge whatever sentence the judge handed out. Often, we highlight some error which has unfairly resulted in a lengthy sentence.

At Tad Nelson, we stay on top of the relevant law to make sure our motions are airtight. This means understanding developments in both Texas criminal law and federal Constitutional criminal procedure.

Reasons to Appeal

To bring an appeal, we must raise some issue that we believe warrants a new trial or an acquittal. It’s not enough to just be unhappy with how the trial went. We need to identify errors, usually legal in nature. Typically, the judge made some mistake which denied you a fair trial, so your conviction cannot stand.

There are many reasons to bring an appeal:

  • The judge let in unfairly prejudicial evidence, like guilt-by-association evidence or hearsay testimony which made a difference in your trial. For example, a critical piece of evidence might have been third hand gossip a witness relayed.
  • Your Constitutional rights were violated. Police should give Miranda warnings before interrogation. You also can’t be subject to unfairly prejudicial lineups or unreasonable searches and seizures. If any of these played a role in your case, we can raise it on appeal.
  • The judge gave erroneous jury instructions. The judge might have misstated the law, so the conviction isn’t proper.
  • You received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. Your trial attorney could have failed to present evidence or even investigate your case. Allowing your conviction to stand would offend the principle of justice.
  • The verdict was unsupported by the evidence. This is hard to argue. An appellate court will take a generous view of any guilty verdict. But if the government didn’t prove a required element, the appellate court should reverse your conviction.

These are some of the more common grounds to bring an appeal. Tad Nelson knows how to carefully analyze the entire criminal record to determine whether you got a fair shake. If not, he can appeal your conviction.

What Happens after a Conviction?

In many ways, a conviction isn’t even the halfway point of your journey through the Texas criminal justice system. A conviction simply allows the state to keep control over you. But many other steps happen after a jury delivers a verdict.

Here is a broad overview of the post-trial process. Not every step will apply in all cases, but most will.

  • Sentencing. The judge who oversaw your trial will sentence you after a guilty verdict. Texas judges have some discretion when it comes to sentencing, a seasoned attorney can make a big difference.
  • Court of appeals. Defendants typically get 30 days from their sentencing to file a notice of appeal. An attorney then prepares the appellate brief, highlighting errors made by the trial court and seeking some sort of relief, like a new trial. Your attorney will file your appeal in one of the state’s appellate courts, depending on where your trial was held.
  • Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. This is the highest criminal court in Texas. If you don’t win at the appellate level, you can bring an appeal to this court. Often, we raise the same issues argued below.
  • United States Supreme Court. If the issues involved a federal Constitutional right, we can file a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court. They accept very few cases, about 80 a year. It’s a longshot, but one or two criminal cases a year come out of Texas each year.

Contact Our League City Criminal Appeals Lawyer Today

A good criminal defense attorney begins planning for an appeal before your trial even starts. If you are facing criminal charges, contact Tad Nelson today. He can represent you at trial or, if you have already been sentenced, jump in and tackle your appeal. The sooner you reach out to his firm, the better he can assist you. Call today to schedule a free consultation.