Under Texas law, most people who have been convicted of a crime carrying a prison sentence are entitled to be released on reasonable bail pending the determination of an appeal. However, there are notable exceptions, based on the seriousness of the crime and other factors.
In general, post-conviction bail works much the same as pretrial bail. If the defendant is on bail at the time of the conviction, the judge can continue bail while the appeal is progressing. If the defendant is in custody, the court may order release on reasonable bail pending appeal.
However, felony defendants appealing convictions cannot be released on bail if they have been sentenced to at least 10 years of confinement. This prohibition applies only to people who are sentenced to actual imprisonment for that time period. Community supervision for all or part of a sentence does not bar release on bail pending appeal. If a defendant is in custody and the conviction is overturned by the Court of Appeals, the defendant is entitled to release on reasonable bail pending the final determination of the Court of Criminal Appeals, regardless of the length of the prison term.
Felony defendants appealing convictions for certain violent crimes are prohibited from release on bail, regardless of the length of their sentences. These crimes include:
- First-degree felony solicitation
- Murder and capital murder
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Trafficking of persons and continuous trafficking of persons
- Indecency with a child
- Sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault
- First-degree felony injury to a child
- Aggravated robbery
- Certain types of burglary
- Aggravated promotion of prostitution compelling prostitution
- Sexual performance by a child
- Certain health and safety code offenses
For any other felony crime, the trial court has the discretion to deny bail if there is good cause to believe that the defendant is likely to commit another offense while released or would not surrender if the conviction became final.
Additionally, if a defendant confined in county jail cannot afford to pay bail but would otherwise be eligible for release on bond pending appeal, the court has the discretion to release the defendant without bond if it is reasonable given the circumstances of the offense and the sentence imposed.
If you are appealing a criminal conviction, the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Kevin Collins in San Antonio can pursue bail release options to which you may be entitled. We have significant experience advocating for our clients to await trial or the results of an appeal outside of confinement. To review your situation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team, call 210-598-8629 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.