St. Mary's Law Journal
Appeals from Pleas of Guilty and Nolo Contendere: History and Procedural Considerations.
The changing history of appeal rights—made through decisional interpretation by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals—highlights the importance of staying current on interpretations of procedural and substantive rules. Lawyers owe their clients a duty to understand the history of the right to appeal from a conviction following a guilty plea. Additionally, they owe their clients a duty to understand substantive and procedural requirements for maintaining such appeals, as well as to stay abreast of changes affecting these appeals. Recently, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals handed down several opinions drastically reshaping the landscape for appeals following pleas of guilty and nolo contendere. In Texas, statutes grant criminal defendants the right to appeal. According to the 1965 Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, a defendant’s right to appeal includes appealing convictions from pleas of guilty or nolo contendere. In 1985, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals promulgated the original Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. The Rules allowed for the repeal of certain articles of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure that previously governed post-trial, appellate, and review procedures in criminal cases. Then, in 1997, the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals amended the Rules of Appellate Procedure. Consequently, there are several important historical and procedural considerations to be aware of when filing appeals from pleas of guilty and nolo contendere. Lawyers practicing criminal law should keep in mind the pace at which changes have developed and prepare for future changes in order to effectively represent their clients.
St. Mary's University School of Law
Appeals from Pleas of Guilty and Nolo Contendere: History and Procedural Considerations.,
St. Mary's L.J.
Available at: https://commons.stmarytx.edu/thestmaryslawjournal/vol33/iss3/1
Environmental Law Commons, Health Law and Policy Commons, Immigration Law Commons, Jurisprudence Commons, Law and Society Commons, Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Commons, Military, War, and Peace Commons, Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law Commons, State and Local Government Law Commons