Texas Criminal Law Handbook

Right to Appeal

You have the right to appeal a conviction in municipal court.  Before you can appeal, the municipal court must enter a final judgment of guilt against you and impose a penalty (fine and costs).  This final judgment of guilt may either result from a trial on your citation or your signed plea of “nolo contendre” or “guilty.”  Since the Kerrville Municipal Court is not a court of record, an appeal is sent to the Kerr County Court at Law and is a “trial de novo,” which means the case is tried as if the trial in Municipal Court never occurred.

Appeal Bonds

To appeal your case from the Kerrville Municipal Court, you must post an appeal bond with the Municipal Court within ten (10) calendar days after the court signs the judgment. The court must set the appeal bond at double the fine and costs assessed against you, but it can never be less than $50.00.  The court must also approve the appeal bond.

Types of Appeal Bonds

  • The defendant may choose to file a cash bond.  No personal checks are accepted in satisfaction of a cash bond; the cash bond must either be by cash, cashier check or money order made payable to “Kerrville Municipal Court.”  
  • You may also file a surety bond.  A surety bond is a written agreement to guarantee payment of the defendant’s fine and costs should their appeal be unsuccessful. The court has a duty to determine the sufficiency of the surety bond.  The defendant is responsible for purchasing the surety bond, which typically costs a certain percentage of the total bond amount (i.e. if the surety bond was for $500.00, and it required you to pay 10% of the surety bond amount, the surety bond would cost $50.00).
  • If you have an attorney, the attorney may act as surety on your bond.  But your attorney must meet the requirements of a surety, and the court has a duty to determine the sufficiency of the bond filed by your attorney.
  • If you are indigent (generally someone with limited financial resources that prevents them from providing for their food, shelter, clothing, and transportation), you may request the court conduct an indigency hearing to determine your ability to make bond.  The court has the authority to grant a personal appeal bond if you are determined to be indigent.

The filing of the appeal bond perfects the defendant’s appeal to the Kerr County Court at Law.