Failure to Object at Trial May Prevent a Successful Appeal

When standing up to a Texas criminal prosecution, it is important to be sure that every possible avenue for appeal is preserved throughout the process. A recent Texas Court of Appeals decision serves as an illuminating example of how careful consideration of the preservation of appellate issues can impact the outcome of a case. The defendant’s journey through the criminal justice system and his subsequent appeal demonstrate the importance of preserving issues for appellate review.

According to the facts discussed in the recently published judicial opinion, the defendant found himself facing serious charges of possession of a controlled substance after an encounter with police. After a jury found him guilty, the trial court sentenced him to thirty-five years in prison, The defendant appealed his conviction, asserting that the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress evidence.

This case highlights the importance of preserving issues for appellate review from the very outset of a trial. In his first point of error, the defendant argued that the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress. However, a crucial aspect of this issue was the defendant’s failure to object during the trial effectively. The opinion emphasized that the defense counsel and the prosecution had an agreement regarding the motion to suppress. They decided that the trial court would review the body-camera footage of the arresting officers before ruling on the motion. The trial court adhered to this agreement and denied the motion after reviewing the footage.

The Court of Appeals found a critical misstep was taken by the defense, as counsel failed to object effectively during the trial. When the State offered the body-camera footage into evidence, his attorney did not raise any objections, nor did he express any reservations. This lack of objection played a pivotal role in the appellate court’s decision. Texas law stipulates that a defendant must make timely objections during trial to preserve issues for appellate review. The defendant’s failure to make an objection effectively waived his right to challenge the trial court’s earlier decision on appeal.

Our Attorneys Can Ensure Your Trial Is Properly Handled — Beginning to End

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has clarified that, in some cases, an earlier-preserved error will suffice to preserve the issue for appeal. However, the recent case demonstrates that when parties agree to a specific procedure for reviewing evidence and do not raise objections during trial, the appellate court may consider this as a waiver of the earlier-preserved issue. As a result of the recent ruling, the defendant’s conviction will stand.
As a criminal defense attorney in Texas, it is essential to not only identify potential appellate issues but also to navigate the trial proceedings with a keen awareness of the need to object when necessary. The experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys at Guest and Gray understand the importance of preserving objections and other procedural rules that can make or break a defense. If you have been arrested or charged with any crime in Texas, call us to see how we can assist you. At Guest and Gray, we represent people accused of all Texas crimes, including drug offenses. Reach out today for a free consultation to see if we can help.

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