Many good law books have been written about how to do an appeal. However, Texas appeals are governed by the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, the rules of the particular court that the appeal is going to, and a few statutes, plus a multitude of appeals court opinions.
Just knowing how to find the applicable law and then how to analyze it, and then how to apply it to the facts of a case, takes a great deal of schooling.
This is NOT a do it yourself proposition.
Seek a good appellate lawyer. Prices for the legal services vary widely. Remember you are not looking for a "trial" lawyer, but more of a scholar of the law who is able to write persuasively in a special formal kind of way.
You do not need to limit yourself to any one town or area of the state in seeking an appeal lawyer. Any Texas licensed lawyer is permitted to do the appeal. But, some lawyers practice all or mostly all appeals law, and some only do criminal appeals. A lawyer who works with criminal law all the time will know it better off the top of his or her head, but any good appeals lawyer can find the current law.
If you cannot afford a lawyer for the appeal, you are entitled to a court appointed appellate lawyer. If you cannot afford the records maintained by the court clerk and the court reporter's record, you are entitled to those at no cost.
Your trial lawyer is supposed to give you basic guidance about these issues. If you did not use a lawyer for the trial court piece of this, you need to contact the court about appointment of counsel ASAP if you want an appellate lawyer and cannot afford one.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE in all of this. See what the other answering attorneys have said. There are time deadlines. So, if you are going to look for a lawyer, start doing that on MONDAY.
Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.
Average cost is very hard to put a number on.
The trial transcript alone is going to cost anywhere from six to seven dollars a page.
But you have thirty days from the date of sentencing to file your notice of appeal.
A motion for new trial is usually filed before the notice of appeal to see if the judge will entertain the argument of what went wrong in trial.
You need a good attorney that handles appeals.
If you need help with this matter feel free to contact my office.
Platten Law Office
Meet with a good appellate lawyer. Have the attorney who handled the hearing to give the appeals lawyer an overview of what happened at the hearing. That way you can get good advice about whether to spend the money on an appeal. Defense appeals are rarely successful on reasonable suspicion to stop.
Also many stupid cases are unwisely appealed and it creates bad case law that makes future cases more difficult for defenders for decades.
IF there truly was an issue at the suppression hearing (and not one in the mind of the lawyer), then you should appeal. You have 30 days in which to file a motion to appeal. While this may be a great course to take, the reality is that it may mean just delay. (And to realistic, delay is sometimes one of the greatest tools that a defense lawyer has.) Talk with you trial lawyer about how to proceed, and then seek a second opinion of another defense lawyer who is also very experienced in DWI cases. The appellate lawyer's opinion on the strength of the appeal is somewhat important, but delay may be your friend.
Generally speaking, you can't appeal a case until the case is over. Be aware that even if you do enter a plea bargain after your motion to suppress, you have a right to appeal.
A good place to start is by speaking to your trial attorney what their thoughts are about your chances in an appeal. Certain details can make a large difference. If the judge's decision was based upon their evaluation of witness credibility you will have a difficult time winning.
If the decision is based upon a faulty interpretation of the law then your chances are much better.
I know appellate lawyers that cost between $5000 to $100,000. Feel free to give me a call at 210-222-1117. I have prosecuted and defended in Bexar county and I can give you my recommendations about which appellate attorneys I would choose for myself or a loved one in any given price range.
There is no direct appeal from the denial of a motion to suppress, you will have to dispose of the case through trial, or through some plea agreement to appeal the issue. I suggest that the proper standard for a stop is not a "reasonable suspicion", but is a higher standard of "probable cause." (United States vs. Cole, 444 F.3d 688 (5th Cir. --Tex. 2006) This is an area of current appellate litigation. Discuss this with your trial counsel and determine which path to seek from here on out. Your trial counsel should be able to assist you with this matter, Good Luck and God Bless
Defendant appeals in criminal a case are not allowed until final disposition the case, i.e. trial ending in a guilty verdict or a negotiated plea is tendered to the court. However the defense can only appeal within 30 days from the final disposition of the case. Appeals can cost anywhere from $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 and can take 6 to 12 months to be heard.
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