Ex parte Townsend – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Ex parte Townsend, 538 S.W.2d 419 (Tex.Crim.App. 1976), the defendant agreed in writing that he knowingly and voluntarily waived his right of appeal, pled guilty, and punishment was assessed by the trial court. The defendant then timely filed a written notice of appeal.

The trial court entered an "Order Denying Defendant's Notice of Appeal."

On application for writ of habeas corpus, the Court of Criminal Appeals posed the issue as ". . . whether a defendant is bound by his agreement to waive appeal when the agreement is made prior to trial." In answering the question, the Court held ". . . as a matter of law, that a waiver of right of appeal made prior to trial cannot . . . be made knowingly and intelligently. Such a waiver is therefore not binding on a defendant." Id. at 420.