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The Appellate Division

Frank Crowley Courts Building - 133 N. Riverfront Boulevard, LB 19, Dallas, TX 75207
Phone: (214) 653-3600 • Fax: (214) 653-5774


The Appellate Division of the Dallas County Criminal District Attorney’s Office represents the State of Texas in all direct appeals from misdemeanor and felony convictions in Dallas County. Further, the Appellate Division initiates appeals by the State in certain cases where the trial court has quashed a portion of a charging instrument, decided at a pretrial hearing to suppress portions of the State’s evidence, or granted a motion for new trial. Moreover, attorneys in the Appellate Division respond to and prepare proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law on post-conviction applications for writs of habeas corpus.

Additionally, the Appellate Division is responsible for handling the appeals of cases in which the State has successfully petitioned a trial court to terminate the rights of a parent or parents to their child or children based on abuse of the child or children. The Appellate Division also responds to appeals of juvenile delinquency adjudications.

The appeals of criminal cases, termination cases, and juvenile cases are heard by the fourteen intermediate courts of appeals, one of which is located in Dallas County. Further appeals of criminal cases are heard by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and further appeals of termination and juvenile cases are heard by the Texas Supreme Court, both of which are the highest courts in the state.

The Appellate Division attorneys frequently appear before the court of appeals to present oral arguments in response to the oral arguments of the appellants, based on the appellate briefs. Similarly, the Appellate Division attorneys who respond to post-conviction applications for writs of habeas corpus often appear before the convicting courts to represent the State at evidentiary hearings conducted on these habeas writs.

After the appellate court issues a written opinion deciding a direct appeal, either party may seek further review. When the appellant seeks further review in either the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals or the Texas Supreme Court, the attorney from the Appellate Division frequently files a written argument in response to that filed by the appellant. In certain limited circumstances, an attorney from the Appellate Division may even file a written argument with the Supreme Court of the United States. The Appellate Division works hard to protect the convictions obtained by our trial prosecutors and maintains a high success rate on appeals and applications for writs of habeas corpus.

In addition, a select group of attorneys in the Appellate Division respond to direct appeals and post-conviction applications for writs of habeas corpus in capital murder cases in which the appellants have been assessed the death penalty. These attorneys respond to multiple pleadings that are filed throughout the post-conviction stage, up until the time that the appellants’ sentences are carried out.

Finally, attorneys in the Appellate Division respond to requests for post-conviction DNA testing, requests for expunction of criminal records, requests under the Public Information Act, and questions from trial prosecutors regarding substantive and procedural law. In essence, the Appellate Division is the legal division of the Office.