Baez v. State

In Baez v. State, 235 S.W.3d 839 (Tex. App.--Texarkana 2007, pet. ref'd), the Texarkana court refused to construe a motion to withdraw as counsel - which mentioned the defendant's desire to appeal and the defendant's expressed interest in appealing - as a notice of appeal. 235 S.W.3d at 840-41. The Texarkana court acknowledged the court's holding in Few v. State, 230 S.W.3d 184 (Tex. Crim. App. 2007) and its need to "attempt to be very liberal in the construction of instruments which are filed so as to not deny the appeal of a criminal case based on the want of proper form." Id. at 840. The Texarkana court concluded, however, that even under the more relaxed or liberal standard directed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, it was not convinced that it should construe a statement extracted from an attorney's motion to withdraw as a notice of appeal. Id. The Texarkana court reasoned: Should we deem this type of language (which is hidden within a document which bears no apparent relation to providing a notice of appeal) adequate, practically any language contained within any type of document that indicated that Baez was considering filing an appeal would be sufficient to serve as a notice of appeal. We believe that to do so would be tantamount to dispensing with the necessity of filing any such notice. Without direction from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, we will not saddle ourselves with the added responsibility of exploring every nook and cranny of a record--even in unlikely places--to seek out language that might be stretched to conceivably serve as a "notice of appeal." Id. at 841.