Appeals & Writs
Contact Chris Perri Law to discuss appeals and writs options and find out whether your conviction can be overturned.
Sometimes, the judge and jury are wrong. Innocent people receive unfair sentences on a regular basis and when they do, our legal system allows them to appeal. The appeals process allows the convicted person to have their case reviewed before a higher court.
Chris Perri began his career in criminal law in the appellate division of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office. There, he learned to write persuasive appellate briefs, and his years in the DA’s office taught him how judges and prosecutors think. This experience allows him to anticipate the arguments that will be raised in an appeal and prepare a convincing case to withstand those arguments.
The appeal proceeds “on the record,” meaning that the appeal is limited to issues that were litigated at the trial level. As a result, our first step is to review the trial transcript in order to analyze every possible issue that might help overturn our client’s conviction.
SOMETIMES THE JUDGE AND JURY ARE WRONG.
When a defendant wins a pretrial suppression issue, the State may choose to appeal the trial court’s ruling. In that case, we must raise arguments that support the trial court’s ruling.
Post-conviction writs—also known as “habeas corpus”—are different from appeals because defendants aren’t confined to raising those issues that were previously litigated. Instead, they can present new evidence to the court to demonstrate their innocence. For example, if new DNA evidence is discovered that shows that the defendant could not have committed the crime, this evidence can be presented in a post-conviction writ. Or, if we find that the prosecution illegally hid evidence from the defense during trial, we can raise the Brady claim in a writ. One of the most common allegations on a writ is that a defendant’s trial attorney rendered “ineffective assistance” such as neglecting to object to certain evidence or failing to adequately investigate the case. This type of issue could not be raised in a direct appeal because the issue of trial counsel’s ineffectiveness had not been fully litigated. However, in a writ proceeding, we can argue that the trial attorney’s mistakes were inexcusable, and the court must determine whether the trial would have proceeded differently if the trial attorney had effectively defended our client.
If you have questions about whether your conviction can be overturned, contact an experienced appellate attorney at Chris Perri Law 512-917-4378.