Understanding the four grounds for a criminal appeal

On Behalf of | May 28, 2021 | Criminal Law |

Unfortunately, a Texas court may sometimes make an error in judgment when ruling on a case. In the U.S. justice system, those who have experienced an error during their trial can file for an appeal. However, they must have some basic grounds in order to file for a criminal appeal.

The four grounds for appeal

Criminal appeal cases can be heard in the event that they meet one of four grounds for appeal. The first ground is that the lower court made a plain or serious error in judgment of the law. The second ground is that the verdict is not supported by the weight of the evidence. The third ground is that the lower court abused its discretion in making its ruling. The last ground for appeal is that there was ineffective assistance of counsel. Your case must meet one of these four grounds in order for it to be heard by an appellate court.

A note on harmless errors

In some cases, a court may have made an error, but it must be a substantial error in order for it to be grounds for a criminal appeal. If the error would not have a substantial impact on the trial, it’s not going to meet the grounds for an appeal. These are referred to as harmless errors. No criminal appeal can be filed based on the grounds of an error that is considered harmless.

While it’s very common to hear that a person wants to file a criminal appeal after they don’t get the verdict they were hoping for, they can’t do so just out of spite. They have to meet one of the four basic grounds for a criminal appeal before any appellate court will hear the case. If you believe that your case is eligible for a criminal appeal, you should speak to an attorney to determine if you have grounds for filing one.