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Told by my attorney, " must waive right of appeal to get probation instead of TDC"

Livingston, TX |

In November of 2005 I was arrested for DWI in Onalaska, Tx. Appeared on assigned court date and was informed by the judge that case was before Grand Jury pending possible felony indictment.
Having had no dealings with the "felony" side of the law, I hired a local attorney that afternoon. He assured my wife and I that all would be well and I "would not" go to prison.
There was no more contact initiated by he or his office until two days before the court date exactly 1 yr. later. Calls and inquiries were sometimes answered, sometimes not. I should have known then.
On the court date I was informed by my attorney that my plea would be guilty, and in order to receive probation that I must waive my right to appeal.
I feel as if I let myself get sold down the river.
What do you make of this?

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Attorney answers 4


If you have already pled then, it's 'water under the bridge', to use your analogy. Seriously, I can't second-guess your lawyer but, especially on a felony case it is very reasonable to have much communication to review the officer's written report, video, discuss options and you then make an informed decision. For a plea it is standard to waive one's appellate rights. A plea is a negotiated compromise between prosecution and defense. Each is relinquishing something to gain something. Hope all turns out well for you. Be sure to understand each and every condition of your probation so you don't get revoked. If you still have questions I'd strongly suggest you consult a good lawyer who only practices DWI defense. Good luck.


Your instincts were correct, you should have been getting more feedback and information from your attorney throughout your defense. Hopefully he really did get you the best possible outcome, but you have good reason to always have a lingering doubt in your mind about it.


Please see my answer to your earlier post. It discusses this in more detail. Get rid of the negative feelings of "being sold down the river." Appeals are rarely successful if you are convicted at a trial and there is no guarantee at trial of getting probation.

Good Luck

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Any time you plead guilty and waive your right to a jury trial, you are waiving certain rights to appeal. This is in all cases. However, you do have a very limited right to appeal (you may consult an appellate lawyer regarding this limited right). Appeals are based on errors. When you have a trial, there will be a record of events during trial (basically if errors are made they will be part of the record). Because you did not have a trial and waived your right to appeal is not necessarily an indication that your attorney advised you incorrectly or ineffectively assisted you. The evidence against you and the advice given will need to be reviewed by an appellate lawyer.

The information provided is not advice but a legal perspective and you should schedule a consultation with the lawyer of your choice.