How to Win an Appeal in Dallas

Attorney Aaron Spolin

Award-winning Dallas criminal defense attorney Aaron Spolin has strategies to win cases like yours. Call Spolin Law P.C. at (866) 963-7561.

When arguing a criminal appeal, your attorney is tasked with proving that the original trial court made an error that denied you of your right to a fair trial and must be reconsidered and corrected.

As one of Dallas’ leading appeals attorneys, Aaron Spolin is well acquainted with the complex, often daunting world of appellate law in Texas. He has achieved great successes throughout his career. Mr. Spolin and his team pledge to fight to get you the positive outcome you deserve.

Mr. Spolin explains steps that his Dallas County appeals law firm, Spolin Law P.C., takes to fight an appeal:

  1. Thoroughly Review the Case
    The legal team at Spolin Law P.C. begins the appellate process by obtaining and reviewing the transcripts of your trial and pretrial hearing. It is during this step that the documents are thoroughly searched for errors made by your previous trial lawyer, improper statements made by the judge or prosecutor, and any legal irregularities that will become the basis for your argument upon appeal.
  2. Develop a Legal Argument
    Once errors have been identified, your appellate attorney’s job is to apply them to federal or state law, depending on which court your case is being heard in. If you were convicted in a Texas County Trial Court, your case will be heard in a state court and must be based in Texas state law. However, if you were convicted of a federal crime, you will be tried in federal court under federal laws.
  3. Establish Your Innocence
    In addition to presenting a strong legal or factual argument on appeal, making an emotional plea to the judge can become a useful tool in achieving appellate success. As your attorneys, we will work hard to reveal the failures of the court and prove your full or partial innocence.
  4. Getting Released from Prison
    While your appeal is pending, your Dallas appeal lawyer at Spolin Law P.C. can present a request to the judge for your release. The court will consider several factors when determining if a release from imprisonment is appropriate, including:

    • The seriousness of your conviction
    • The length of your sentence
    • Your criminal history
    • Your ties to the community
    • Your ability and likelihood to travel and become a fugitive
    • The risk to public safety

Dallas criminal appeals lawyer Aaron Spolin and his legal team at Spolin Law P.C. are dedicated to helping you through the legal process necessary to get you out of prison. To learn more about how we can help you, contact Mr. Spolin and his team at (866) 963-7561.

  1. How to Win an Appeal in Dallas
  2. Dallas Appellate Courthouses & Important Deadlines
  3. Appeals Process for Dallas County Convictions
  4. Effective Arguments in Overturning Convictions
  5. The Importance of an Appeals Lawyer

Dallas Appellate Courthouses

Your original trial may have occurred in Dallas County Criminal District Court for a state offense or the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas for a federal offense. However, if you are found guilty in a trial court and disagree with your conviction, you can appeal to a higher-level court.

Fifth District Court of Appeals of Texas (State offenses)

The Courts of Appeal are intermediate courts of review. They perform reviews of appealable orders and judgments from a trial court, except for cases involving the death penalty in which the Texas Supreme Court exercises jurisdiction.

The Fifth District Court Of Appeal is located in Dallas and serves six Northern Texas counties: Dallas, Collin, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, Rockwall. Serving these counties are the 13 justices that hear thousands of appeals a year.

The Fifth District Court of Appeals of Texas can be reached at:

Fifth Court of Appeals
George L. Allen, Sr. Courts Bldg.
600 Commerce Street, Suite 200
Dallas, Texas 75202-4658
Phone: (214) 712-3450

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Federal Offenses)

Federal appeals filed out of Texas are heard in the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit can be reached at:

U.S. Court of Appeals
Fifth Circuit
600 S. Maestri Place
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (504) 310-7700

Although there is no right to appeal a circuit court decision, if you are still unsatisfied with the outcome of your case, you may request a judgment by the U.S. Supreme Court by petitioning for a Writ of Certiorari. However, it is important to note that once a Supreme Court rules on a case, their judgment is final and binding in all state and federal courts.

Deadlines for Appeals in State & Federal Courts

Time is of the essence when filing an appellate petition. If you are wrongfully convicted, it is important to find an appeals lawyer as soon as possible. With strict deadlines to submit your appeal, starting the process too late may cost you your chance at justice.

The Fifth District Court of Appeals of Texas (State appeals)

If you were convicted in a Texas state court, you must submit a Notice of Appeal within 30 days after the judgment to inform the courts of your decision to appeal.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Federal Offenses)

If you were convicted in a federal court, there is a much tighter deadline of 14 days to file a Notice of Appeal. This 14-day deadline also applies to alternate forms of post-conviction relief including:

  • Motions for Judgment of Acquittal
  • Motion for Arrest of Judgement
  • Motion for a New Trial
  • Petition for Rehearing or Rehearing En Banc

If these motions or petitions are not granted, your Dallas federal criminal appeals lawyer can still file a Notice of Appeal in your case.

Deadlines for Writs of Habeas Corpus

A Writ of Habeas Corpus is a different type of appeal that is typically pursued once all the state and federal appeals processes have been exhausted. These types of appellate petitions function on a largely different timeline.

For state defendants convicted in Dallas County, a Writ of Habeas Corpus is filed in either the Federal District Court of Northern Texas or in the Dallas Superior Court and are due within “a reasonable time” after discovering the issue that is raised on the writ.

Federal writs, on the other hand, are due one year after the ruling by the Texas Supreme Court becomes final, which is 90 days after the order is issued. Thus, you have one year and 90 days after a Texas Supreme Court order to file a federal writ of habeas corpus.

To begin the legal process with your case, contact Spolin Law P.C. at (866) 963-7561.

  1. How to Win an Appeal in Dallas
  2. Dallas Appellate Courthouses & Important Deadlines
  3. Appeals Process for Dallas County Convictions
  4. Effective Arguments in Overturning Convictions
  5. The Importance of an Appeals Lawyer

Appeals Process for Dallas County Convictions

Attorney Aaron Spolin and other legal team members having a discussion | Spolin Law P.C.

The attorneys at Spolin Law P.C. discuss the next step in the legal process as they fight to get their client out of prison.

The traditional appeals process can be divided into nine primary steps.

Step 1: File a Notice of Appeal

The first step of the appeals process involves filing notice of appeal. In doing so, you are informing the court of your intention to pursue appellate action. Notice of Appeals have strict deadlines outlined by law and are typically filed with the lower court within which you were convicted.

Step 2: Obtain Your Trial Transcript

The details of your original trial (including testimony, the evidence presented, etc.) are recorded by the court reporter in a trial transcript. Once you obtain this transcript, your Dallas appeals attorneys can begin to review it for any errors that may warrant an appeal.

Step 3: Submit an Opening Brief

The appellant’s opening brief (AOB) in appeal proceedings outline your appellate argument by explaining why the trial court was wrong in their judgment, including a material legal mistake that was made.

Step 4: The Respondent’s Brief

The government may challenge your appellate petition by writing a response to the opening brief in the form of a respondent’s brief. In doing so, they will argue that no mistake was made and move to affirm the trial court’s decision.

Step 5: Reply Brief

The Reply Brief offers the appellant the opportunity to respond to the government’s brief by addressing their arguments or further explaining the legal errors that were made. No new factual evidence may be introduced at this point in the process.

Step 6: Oral Arguments

Oral arguments do not happen in every case but may be requested by either party. It is during this time that attorneys discuss the arguments in their briefs before a panel of judges, giving them the opportunity to ask any necessary questions.

Step 7: The Appeal Decision

Following briefs and oral arguments, a panel of judges will review the circumstances of the appeal and decide to either affirm the trial court’s decision, reverse the judgement, or grant you the opportunity for a new trial.

Step 8: Requesting a Rehearing by the Appellate Court

If you are unsatisfied with the outcome of your appeal, you have 14 days to request a rehearing.

Step 9: Request a Review by the Supreme Court

If your case presents a novel issue of law or there is a constitutional violation, you may file a petition for a higher court to review the case with a Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Supreme Court.

The legal process in Dallas County can be complex. Don’t go it alone. Spolin Law P.C. has experience with cases just like yours. Call us today at (866) 963-7561.

  1. How to Win an Appeal in Dallas
  2. Dallas Appellate Courthouses & Important Deadlines
  3. Appeals Process for Dallas County Convictions
  4. Effective Arguments in Overturning Convictions
  5. The Importance of an Appeals Lawyer

Effective Arguments in Overturning Convictions

There are thousands of arguments to be made on appeal in criminal cases. Oftentimes, more than one argument is used in an appellate petition to the court. Hiring an attorney that understands the intricacies of these arguments is vital to a successful appeal. Some of the most effective arguments include:

  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • Improperly Admitted Character Evidence
  • Improper Shift of the Burden of Proof by the Prosecutor
  • Improper Jury Instructions
  • Failure of Judge to Provide Required Jury Instructions
  • Witness was Improperly Excluded
  • Cross-Examination was Improperly Limited
  • Defendant’s Statement or Confession was Improperly Admitted
  • Denied Your Choice of Attorney
  • Denied Right of Self Representation
  • Suppression Motion was Improperly Denied
  • Lack of Probable Cause
  • Lack of Sufficient Evidence for a Conviction
  • Faulty Line-Up was Improperly Admitted
  • Defendant’s Fifth Amendment Right Against Self-Incrimination Was Violated
  • Violation of Double Jeopardy
  • Violation of a Right to Speedy Trial
  • Case was Incorrectly Joined With Co-Defendant
  • Jury Trial Was Improperly Denied
  • Mental Incompetence
  • Overly Broad Statute Defining Offense is Unconstitutional
  • Violation of Defendant’s First Amendment Rights
  • Improperly Closed Courtroom
  • Someone Improperly Interfered With Jury Deliberations
  • Defendant’s Innocence
  • Sentencing Mistake
  • Violation of the Statute of Limitations
  • Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction
  • Change of Venue Motion was Improperly Denied
  • Defendant Was Improperly Restrained in Front of Jury
  • Jury Allowed to See Shackles, Handcuffs, or Jail Clothes of Defendant
  • Defendant’s Exclusion From the Courtroom During Parts of the Trial
  • Judge’s Communications With Jury Without Defense Counsel Present
  • Judge’s Improper Admission of Confession Following Lack of Miranda Warnings
  • Judge’s Improper Ruling on Sufficiency of Warrant Motion
  • Judge’s Improper Ruling on Identification Procedures Motion
  • Denied Defense Counsel at Critical Stages of Court Proceedings
  • Trial Attorney’s Conflict of Interest
  • Undue Prejudice by Pretrial or Trial Publicity
  • Improper Challenge of a Juror Due to Juror’s Race/Gender/etc. by Prosecutor
  • Improper Ruling on Expert Testimony
  • Improper or Improperly Filled Out Jury Verdict Form
  • “Golden Rule” Violation by Prosecutor
  • Failure to Disclose Exculpatory Evidence by Prosecutor
  • Failure to Disclose Relevant Information About a Witness by Prosecutor
  1. How to Win an Appeal in Dallas
  2. Dallas Appellate Courthouses & Important Deadlines
  3. Appeals Process for Dallas County Convictions
  4. Effective Arguments in Overturning Convictions
  5. The Importance of an Appeals Lawyer

The Importance of an Appeals Lawyer

Spolin Law Logo

Spolin Law P.C. has a team of legal professionals who are ready to fight for you. Call us at (866) 963-7561.

There are many criminal defense lawyers in Dallas, but few of them successfully appeal cases to higher-level courts. The criminal appeals process requires strong strategies and targeted arguments in your favor.

Award-winning Dallas criminal appeals attorney Aaron Spolin has an exceptional track record of success. Our team is here to work hard to get you the justice you deserve by:

  • Finding errors in the court record,
  • Explaining the rights violations that occurred,
  • Arguing to overturn the conviction or reduce the sentence, and
  • Fighting to Win every case.

To speak to one of our Dallas criminal appeals attorneys at Spolin Law P.C., call us at (866) 963-7561.