Let’s say you have a trial and lose. The judge or jury sentences you to 5 years in prison, but your lawyer is going to file an appeal. Can you get released on bond while the appeal is pending?
BOND AFTER CONVICTION IN TEXAS
If you’ve been convicted in a case and sentenced to prison time it is still possible to be released on bond pending the outcome of an appeal. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 44.04(b) allows for bond in all cases in which the defendant is sentenced to less than 10 years and the offense is not listed under 42A (we used to call these 3G offenses).
However, if you qualify for bond on appeal a judge can still deny bond. CCP Article 44.04i allows a judge to deny bail on appeal f the judge believes that that the defendant would not show up if he lost on appeal (after the conviction becomes final), or that the defendant would likely commit another offense while on bail.
You can appeal a judge’s decision to deny bail pending appeal. That’s a confusing sentence. If a judge denies you bail pending appeal, you can file a separate appeal on that issue, the one denying you bail. However, like most appellate issues in Texas it’s set up for the State to win and the Defendant to lose. The standard the court of appeals will apply is “abuse of discretion”. This means the appellate court will not overturn a judge’s decision to deny bail unless the judge was arbitrary or unreasonable. That’s really hard to prove on appeal and it means that the appellate court will rarely overturn a judge’s decision to deny bail pending appeal.
What can the judge consider to deny bail pending appeal? The judge could consider if you missed court dates in the past, or had your bond forfeited. The judge could consider your criminal history, how many times you’ve been arrested and convicted before. The judge could consider your past performance on probation or any history of mental health or drug abuse treatment. Texas courts love locking up people who have ever used drugs in the past or who have struggled with mental health issues and had a hard time complying with treatment.
Another option if you are sentenced to less than 10 years is shock probation. Shock probation is where the judge can sentence you to probation after you’ve gone to TDCJ (prison). There are strict deadlines to file and have a hearing for shock probation. And it’s unlikely that if a judge denies you bail pending appeal they would grant shock probation.