Time to File Appeal Bond In Texas Justice or Municipal Court

An appeal to a county court from a municipal or justice court is by a trial de novo. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 44.17 (Vernon Supp. 2000). Such appeals are governed by articles 44.13 through 44.20 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Effective September 1, 1999, former articles 44.13 and 44.14 were renumbered articles 45.0425 and 45.0426, respectively, with portions of former article 44.13 deleted. An appeal under these provisions is not perfected by filing a notice of appeal, but by filing an appeal bond in the justice or municipal court not later than the tenth day after the date the judgment was entered. See id. art. 44.14(a), (c) (Vernon Supp. 1999). The appeal bond is an appearance bond that may be forfeited if the defendant fails to appear personally. See Xydias v. State, 45 Tex. Crim. 422, 76 S.W. 761 (1903); Anderson v. State, 74 Tex. Crim. 67, 166 S.W. 1164 (1914). To be sufficient, an appeal bond must recite the cause in which the defendant was convicted and that he has appealed, and it must be conditioned on the defendant personally appearing before the court. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 44.13(d); Smith v. State, 45 Tex. Crim. 567, 78 S.W. 937 (1904); Whitcomb v. State, 80 Tex. Crim. 446, 190 S.W. 484 (1916); Scarborough v. State, 20 S.W. 584, 584 (Tex. Crim. App. 1892). Also, the appellant and each of his sureties must sign the bond. See Scarborough, 20 S.W. at 584. The filing of a timely, proper appellate bond is essential to perfect an appeal from a municipal or justice court. See Lopez v. State, 649 S.W.2d 165, 166 (Tex. App.-El Paso 1983, no pet.). Thus, the appeals court is to examine the record for a timely filed appeal bond and if one has not been timely filed, the appeal court does not have jurisdiction over the case and must remand it to the justice or municipal court for execution of the sentence. See id. art. 44.14(b); Cuellar v. Cardenas, 972 S.W.2d 826, 826 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 1998, no pet.).