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Fort Worth, Texas – Criminal Defense lawyer represented defendant with a forgery charge.
In 2018, Williams pleaded guilty to forgery in exchange for four years’ deferred
adjudication community supervision. In August 2020, the State filed a motion to
adjudicate Williams guilty, alleging that he had committed the new offense of burglary,
had failed to report to his probation officer in April 2020, and had failed to pay his
probation fee for one month. Although the trial court initially appointed counsel for
Williams, Williams eventually retained his own counsel.
By agreement of Williams1
and the State, the trial court conducted the
adjudication proceeding via Zoom. Williams pleaded “not true” to each allegation.
The State presented evidence that Williams had, after an argument earlier in the day,
broken into his girlfriend’s home through a window and assaulted her. Later that
night, he kicked in the door to her house and assaulted her friend. The State also
presented evidence that Williams had failed to report to his probation officer in
April 2020, that he had not paid a $60 probation fee, and that he had the capability to
pay that fee.
1Williams signed a waiver of his right to appeal any complaint about the
proceedings’ being conducted remotely.
The trial court found the allegations in the State’s petition true and adjudicated
Williams guilty. Williams appealed the trial court’s judgment. After abating the appeal
and then sending two late-brief notices to appellant’s retained counsel––the
most recent of which warned that we could submit the appeal without briefs unless
counsel timely responded by filing a brief and motion explaining the delay––we
submitted the appeal without briefs.
3 See Tex. R. App. P. 38.8(b)(4).
Outcome: When an appellant fails to file a brief and we consider the case without briefs,
we review the entire appellate record to determine if fundamental error exists.