Parnham & Associates
Criminal Law Attorneys in Houston, Texas
Petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus is often the last chance a wrongly convicted person has to overturn the charges against them. Because of this, it is vital to be represented by attorneys with the skill and experience to navigate this complicated area of law.
Parnham & Associates can help answer any and all questions you might have regarding Direct Appeals and Habeas Corpus.
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In the unfortunate circumstance that you have been convicted of or placed on community supervision for a criminal offence, you may be entitled to challenge the outcome in a higher court. This is true in both Federal and State cases. It may be true even if you plead guilty or no-contest to criminal charges.
Appellate practice is a specialized area of Criminal Law, which has its own rules, procedures and deadlines. The application of these rules and deadlines requires strict compliance and failure to follow them properly and timely can result in the loss of your right to challenge your case forever. In both Texas and the Federal Criminal Courts, there are generally two separate and distinct tracks to challenge a conviction and/or sentence - Direct Appeal and Writ of Habeas Corpus.
Direct Appeal is the most common and, generally speaking, the first step in the post-conviction process. It is governed by the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure (TRAPS). Under State Law, a person must file written Notice of Appeal within 30 days from the date of judgment. Failure to do so will likely result in the loss of this important right forever. The process that follows may include but is not limited to the following:
- Motion for New Trial.
- Filing a Notice of Appeal.
- Obtaining the clerks record and the court reporters transcript of the trial proceedings.
- Writing and filing a brief outlining the facts of the case and the legal arguments and authorities in support of your argument.
- Writing and filing a reply brief to the State's response to your appeal.
- Oral arguments before the Court of Appeals.
- Writing and filing a Motion for Rehearing or Rehearing en banc.
- Writing and filing a Petition for Discretionary Review with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin.
- Oral arguments before the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Direct Appeal is a "record-based appeal". This means that the appeal can only address matters which are contained in the clerks record and the court reporters transcript of your case. New facts and/or new evidence is excluded from consideration in this type of appeal.
Writ of Habeas Corpus:
A Writ of Habeas Corpus is a collateral attack on a criminal judgment. Unlike direct appeal, a post-conviction writ is not confined by the appellate record. An applicant can and should introduce new facts, evidence and legal arguments in challenging that person's conviction or sentence. As with direct appeal, writs come with their own specialized set of rules and deadlines. These rules and deadlines are complicated and tedious and require an experienced appellate practitioner to successfully navigate the process. Writs of Habeas Corpus are as much an art as they are a legal and procedural exercise. They often involve the implementation of complex legal and factual strategies in order to achieve the desired result.
If you have been accused of a crime, please contact us today for a free consultation with an aggressive and resourceful criminal defense attorney. We will work tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
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The Law Office of Parnham & Associates
440 Louisiana St., Suite 200 (The Lyric Centre), Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 224.3967 | Fax: 713.224.2815
This is for general informational purpose only. This information: • DOES NOT represent a legal advice or opinion, • DOES NOT create an attorney-client relationship, • DOES NOT account for community-supervision eligibility, special punishment issues, mandatory minimum confinement, enhancements, and "Exceptional Sentences" under Chapter 12 Subchapter D of the Texas Penal Code, • DOES NOT apply Corporations & Associations. • DOES NOT represent the unique circumstances of your case.