Almanza v. State

Under Almanza v. State, 686 S.W.2d 157, 171 (Tex. Crim. App. 1985), the degree of harm necessary for reversal depends on whether the appellant preserved the error by objection. Almanza, 686 S.W.2d at 171; see TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 36.19 (Vernon Supp. 2009); Error in the charge, if timely objected to in the trial court, requires reversal if the error was "calculated to injure the rights of defendant." See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 36.19. This means that if the charge contains error and the error has been properly preserved by objection, reversal is mandated as long as the error is not harmless. Almanza, 686 S.W.2d at 171. However, if no objection was made at trial to the jury charge, reversal is proper only if the error is so egregious and created such harm that it might be fairly said the defendant did not have a fair and impartial trial. Id. In determining whether harm resulted from the trial court's omission of the not guilty verdict form, we must determine: (1) the actual harm in light of the entire jury charge; (2) the state of the evidence, including contested issues and weight of probative evidence; (3) the argument of counsel; (4) any other relevant information revealed by the record. (Almanza, 686 S.W.2d at 171).