In a recent criminal case before a district court in Texas, the defendant asked the court to find that the trial judge had been biased against him when deciding to sentence him to 50 years in prison. According to the defendant, the judge decided on 50 years arbitrarily, and the higher court should reverse that decision. Looking at the record, however, the district court disagreed with the defendant and ended up affirming the lower court’s sentence. This case serves as an example of how difficult it can be to establish bias-related claims on appeal, which is why it is essential for criminal defense attorneys to create detailed records in the event bias becomes a concern down the road.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant was charged with assault after he physically abused a person that he was dating. He struck her with his hand, hit her with an object, pulled her hair, and pushed her to the ground. According to the State, the defendant used both a car and a firearm during the assault, which made the offense more serious.
The defendant had been previously convicted of assault, specifically assault against a family member. The case went to trial, and a jury found the defendant guilty. After trial, the court sentenced the defendant to 50 years in prison. The defendant promptly appealed the judge’s decision.
The Court’s Decision and Legal Analysis
On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court judge was biased against him. During the sentencing phase of the case, the judge spoke at length about the defendant’s prior convictions. After discussing the defendant’s criminal history at length, the judge decided he would accept the State’s suggestion and sentence the defendant to 50 years in prison.
Reviewing the trial court’s record, the district court found that the judge acted within his rights when sentencing the defendant. Even though the judge referenced the defendant’s prior convictions, he still chose a sentence that was within the sentencing guidelines for the defendant’s offense. There was no evidence, said the court, to show that the judge was biased against the defendant, and the judge was entitled to choose a sentence at the high end of the State’s suggestion.
Therefore, said the court, the defendant’s sentence would be affirmed.
Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney in Texas?
At Guest and Gray, our team of criminal defense attorneys takes pride in protecting the rights and freedoms of Texans when they are facing charges. Our first goal is to get your charges dropped, and we do everything in our power to allow you to walk away without having to face a guilty conviction. If you or your loved one is looking for aggressive and forward-thinking representation, look no further. For a free and confidential consultation, give us a call today at (972) 564-4644. You can also fill out our online form to have an attorney reach back out to you as soon as possible.