Charles v. State

In Charles v. State, 146 S.W.3d 204, 208 (Tex. Crim. App. 2004), The defendant in Charles moved for a new trial based upon ineffective assistance of counsel grounds. Id. at 207. He offered affidavits that averred that trial counsel had not conducted any independent investigation into the voluntariness of the defendant's confession. The State offered no contrary affidavit, and thus the defendant contended that the facts were uncontradicted and required a new trial. Id. at 207-08. The Court of Criminal Appeals disagreed. The court first noted that ambiguous and conclusory statements are an inherent problem associated with affidavit evidence--such evidence does not allow the witness to clear up ambiguities, nor for an examination into the factual basis of a conclusion. Id. at 209-10. Next, the court held that a court of appeals should presume that all reasonable implied findings that could be made against the losing party were, indeed, made by the trial court. Id. at 208, 211. Finally, the Court of Criminal Appeals held that a trial judge need not believe the statements made in an affidavit--rather, the trial court may believe "all, some, or none of the affidavit, even though it may be difficult (if not impossible) to assess an affidavit's credibility." Id. at 213. The Court held appropriate standard of review for ineffective assistance claim brought forth in motion for new trial is abuse of discretion