What is the Difference Between an Appeal and Acquittal in Texas?
If you are facing criminal charges of any kind in Texas, you need a Frisco criminal defense attorney to help you file an appeal or secure an acquittal at trial.
Many Texans do not understand the difference between an appeal and acquittal when facing a criminal charge. What does “being acquitted of a crime” mean, and how is it different from filing an appeal?
Schedule a consultation with our criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of Brent D. Bowen, PLLC, to help you navigate the criminal justice system in Texas and fight for your freedom.
Appeal vs. Acquittal: What is the Difference?
Some people use the terms “acquittal” and “appeal” interchangeably, but these two terms refer to two different legal processes.
- Being acquitted of a crime – also known as an “acquittal” – means that a defendant is found not guilty of the offense with which he or she has been charged.
- An appeal is a legal process in which a criminal case is reviewed by a higher court. A defendant who has been convicted of a crime has a right to file an appeal.
In other words, a defendant has no reason to appeal their case when they have been acquitted of a crime because they were determined not guilty of a crime. By contrast, when a defendant is convicted of the crime, they can appeal the conviction.
However, there are instances when a defendant can file an appeal after the acquittal. For example, if they have been acquitted of one charge but were convicted of another crime, they could appeal the conviction.
How to Appeal a Conviction in Texas
If you have been convicted of a crime in Frisco or elsewhere in Texas, you have the right to file a Notice of Appeal within 30 days after the judgment is signed, according to Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 26.1.
When appealing a conviction, the defendant asks the appeals court to review the trial court’s decision to:
- Change the judgment;
- Reverse the judgment; or
- Send the case back to a lower court for a new trial.
Contrary to popular belief, an appeal is not a second opinion. The appeals court would not change or reverse the judgment unless the trial court made a serious mistake.
How to be Acquitted of a Crime in Texas
An acquittal is when a defendant is found not guilty of a charge. Your criminal case will be closed after you are acquitted of a crime in Texas.
However, if the court finds you guilty of a crime, you will face the penalties and punishment associated with the criminal charge. If you received a “guilty” verdict, you have a right to appeal the court’s decision.
If you have been charged with a crime, the worst thing you can do is just wait for a trial and hope that the court will drop or dismiss the charges against you. It is critical to contact a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and freedom.