The appeals process in Texas looks different depending on whether a reporter’s record was requested or not. A reporter’s record is a statement of facts that the court reporter compiled at the municipal court trial.
If the state requested a reporter’s record and denied a new trial, here are your next steps:
- File the appeal bond with the municipal court clerk within 10 days. You can get the appeal bond from your municipal court clerk’s office.
- File the reporter’s record in up to 60 days or sooner.
- File the brief within 15 days. The brief will explain the reason you think the trial court decision was a mistake, citing any relevant legal authorities.
If the state did not request a reporter’s record and denied a new trial, here are the next steps to take:
- File the appeal bond within 10 days.
- File the brief within 15 days from the day the clerk created the record.
While you have the right to an attorney, you do not have the right to present an oral argument, although the court may grant it to you. The appellate court will not rehear evidence; rather, they’ll determine whether the trial judge applied the law correctly. From there, the judge can make one of three decisions:
- Affirm the decision of the trial court: You’ll pay any fines or court costs.
- Reverse the decision and have a new trial: You’ll get a new trial at the level of trial courts.
- Reverse the decision in your favor: The trial court will acquit the judgment and you won’t have to pay the fines.
You’ll receive a copy of the decision in the mail, and the decision becomes final after 15 days.4