Appellant pleaded guilty and nolo contendere, respectively, to the offenses of possession of cocaine and retaliation after the trial court denied his motions to suppress. The trial court found Appellant guilty in both cases and sentenced him to fifteen years' confinement in each case. Bell v. State, Nos. 05-00-01291-CR & 05-00-01292-CR (Tex. App.--Dallas, delivered April 2, 2001). Appellant filed motions for new trial and then timely filed general notices of appeal on August 15, 2000. On January 22, 2001, Appellant filed a "second amended notice of appeal" in each case, declaring an intent to appeal the trial court's decision to deny his motions to suppress, and he further alleged that his pleas were not voluntary. The Court of Appeals dismissed Appellant's appeals for lack of jurisdiction. Id., slip. op. at 2.
Specifically, the court noted that where a defendant pleads nolo contendere and is sentenced pursuant to a plea bargain agreement, the defendant must file a notice of appeal that meets the requirements of Texas Rule of Appellate Prodecure 25.2(b)(3). Id. at 2. Appellant's general notice of appeal did not state that the appeal was for a jurisdictional defect, that the substance of the appeal was raised by written motion and ruled on before trial, or that the trial court granted permission to appeal. The properly amended notice of appeal, filed five months later, was untimely and, therefore, also did not confer jurisdiction over the appeal. Id.; see also Tex.R.App.Proc. 26.2(a)(2). Because neither Appellant's general notice of appeal nor his second amended notice invoked the court's jurisdiction, the court dismissed Appellant's appeal. Id.
This Court has recently held that if a defendant files a timely general notice of appeal, amendments to the notice can properly be made anytime prior to the filing of the defendant's brief. Tex.R.App.Proc. 25(d); Bayless v. State, S.W.3d (Tex. Crim. App., No. 056-01, delivered December 18, 2002). The Court of Appeals did not have the benefit of this Court's decision in Bayless when it issued its opinion. Appellant's petition for discretionary review is therefore granted. We vacate the Court of Appeal's judgment and remand this cause for reconsideration in light of Bayless.
DELIVERED: January 29, 2003
DO NOT PUBLISH