Can You Appeal Your Texas DWI Conviction?
When a person is charged with driving while intoxicated, there is a chance that they will be dissatisfied with the outcome of their court case. They may believe that they were unjustly convicted for the charge or unfairly punished after the conviction. Luckily, anyone who has been convicted of a crime in Texas has the right to file an appeal with a higher court. An appellate court has the authority to overturn a conviction or send the case back to the lower court for a new trial with new instructions.
When Should You Appeal?
Though you always have the option of appealing your conviction, you will need a strong argument if you hope to be successful in your appeal. When an appellate court considers your case, it is not retrying your case from the beginning. Your appeal must explain how the lower court misapplied the law in a way that may have affected the outcome of your case.
Common reasons for appealing a DWI conviction include:
- The court should not have allowed the prosecution to use evidence obtained from an illegal stop or search.
- The court’s verdict went against the manifest weight of evidence.
- The judge gave improper instructions to the jury, which may have tainted the jury’s decision.
Keep in mind that most appellate courts will give lower courts the benefit of the doubt as long as the lower court’s decision fits within the law. For an appellate court to change a ruling, it must be convinced that there was a clear misapplication of the law or that no reasonable person would reach the same conclusion as the lower court.
What Happens When You File an Appeal?
You have 30 days after your DWI conviction in which to file an appeal. The appellate court will consider the reason for your appeal by reviewing the court transcript of your case and possibly by hearing oral arguments from your defense attorney and the prosecution. There are several possible outcomes from an appellate court ruling:
- The court may uphold your conviction in full, after which you still have the option of appealing to a higher court.
- If the court determines that your sentencing was incorrect, your case will be sent back for resentencing with instructions for the lower court.
- If the court determines that your conviction was incorrect, it will vacate your conviction in part or in full.
- If the court determines that an error in your trial may have affected the outcome of your case, your case will be sent back for a new trial with instructions.
Contact a San Antonio DWI Defense Lawyer
When appealing a DWI conviction, it is important to have an experienced lawyer who knows how to make a convincing argument for your appeal. Contact a San Antonio DWI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock to discuss how you can appeal your conviction. Call 888-726-5625 today to schedule a free consultation.