Awadelkariem v. State

In Awadelkariem v. State, 974 S.W.2d 721 (Tex. Crim. App. 1998), the defendant, after pleading not guilty, was convicted of the charged offense and sentenced to eight years' imprisonment, probated. 974 S.W.2d at 722. Later that day, the defendant and his counsel approached the trial court and offered to change his plea to guilty if the court would grant him deferred adjudication. Id. at 723. The court agreed and signed an order granting the defendant a new trial. Id. The defendant later reneged on his promise to enter a guilty plea, and the trial court rescinded its new trial order. Id. The court of appeals held that the trial court was not authorized to set aside the order granting a new trial that it had knowingly and deliberately signed. Id. The court of criminal appeals concluded that "the Matthews rule, having always rested on questionable foundations, is no longer viable." Id. at 728. The court continued: "Nevertheless, . . . we conclude that a time limitation must exist on the power to rescind a new trial order. The appellate rules give a trial court 75 days after judgment is imposed or suspended in open court to rule upon a motion for new trial. 2 We hold that an order granting or denying a motion for new trial may be freely rescinded so long as such action occurs within the 75 days provided by the rules (i.e., current Rule 21.8(a) & (c)); to the extent that Matthews and its progeny were held to apply during this time period, they are overruled. However, after the 75 day period expires, an order granting or denying a new trial becomes "final," and Matthews and its progeny control." Id. Because the trial court rescinded its order granting Awadelkariem a new trial within the seventy-five days allowed by rule 21.8, the recision was effective. Id.