Yes, you can appeal a DWI in Texas.
When Can You Appeal a DWI Conviction in Texas?
Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 44.02 establishes the right of the defendant in any criminal proceeding to appeal the court’s judgment.
The basis for appeal must typically be that the court incorrectly applied the law in some way or allowed some type of improper behavior, leading to a wrongful conviction. Some commonly cited errors used as the basis for a DWI appeal include:
- Improper conduct by the prosecutor
- Court rulings made in error
- Testimony that the court should have excluded
If you can demonstrate that the errors made in your case were significant enough — typically enough to potentially violate your legal rights — the court may agree to grant your request for a new trial.
How Do You Appeal a DWI in Texas?
To appeal a Texas drunk driving conviction, you must file a motion with the Clerk of the Court where your original trial took place. You may also file a Motion for New Trial, which will be your next step in the process if the court grants your appeal.
The clerk will forward your motion and all relevant documentation to the appropriate court of appeal. The appeals court will obtain the necessary information to consider your motion, including a subsequent appellate brief that you must file, explaining your justification for requesting an appeal.
Once the appeals court considers the evidence, the court will file its own brief and issue a ruling.
How Long Do You Have to Appeal a DWI in Texas?
Time is of the essence if you want to appeal a Texas DWI. Unless you file your motion within the statutorily allotted period, you will lose your right to appeal.
You have 30 days to file your petition.
If you miss the filing deadline, contact a Texas DWI lawyer immediately to explore any other potential options you may have.
What Happens if You Lose Your Texas DWI Appeal?
If you lose your first Texas DWI appeal, you may have another option.
Your first appeal proceeding will take place in one of the Texas Courts of Appeal, depending on the location of your original trial. If you wish to appeal the decision, you must file a motion with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Typically, you would only pursue the next level of appeal for a DWI if the court convicted you on felony charges with severe penalties, placing you in prison for decades or even for life. A DWI attorney can help you determine whether your case is appropriate for additional appeals.
What Happens if You Win Your Texas DWI Appeal?
Once you win your appeal, the court will schedule a new trial for the original DWI charges.
Although you are not in the clear yet after an appeal, your DWI lawyer will have a clear understanding of the prosecution’s evidence and where the first case went wrong. And, while this does not guarantee any particular outcome in your case, you may stand a better chance of a favorable result the second time around.
In fact, your lawyer may try to negotiate with the prosecutor before the re-trial, to get your DWI charges reduced or potentially dismissed.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Appeal a Texas DWI?
Although the state does not require you to have a DWI lawyer to handle your appeal or re-trial, consider the importance of having a strong legal advocate on your side.
The DWI appeals process is highly complex. So much so that many criminal defense lawyers lack a comprehensive knowledge of these proceedings. Missing deadlines or committing errors in court filings could jeopardize your appeal.
Court decisions occur every day that could affect your case and improve your chances of having the court grant your motion to appeal. A Texas DWI attorney can evaluate the facts and evidence of your case to determine the viability of a successful appeal in your case.
Get Free Advice from a DWI Lawyer Today
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg provides comprehensive legal representations to individuals facing DWI and drunk driving-related charges in Texas.
With more than 30 years of experience as a state district court judge, chief felony prosecutor, and criminal defense attorney, Randall understands the inner workings of the Texas criminal justice system. He and his legal team will put this knowledge and experience to work on your behalf.
Our legal team will fight for your future, helping you achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
To learn more about appealing your Texas DWI conviction, call us today for a free consultation: 214-696-9253. We can answer any questions you may have and explain your options for appeal.