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Click here for the full text of this decision Appellant pleaded guilty and agreed to the state’s recommended punishment cap of 20 years; the punishment assessed by the trial court did not exceed it. This was therefore a plea-bargained case within the meaning of Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 25.2(a)(2). FACTS:The defendant pleaded guilty to sexual assault. The plea agreement noted a 20-year cap on punishment, and the trial court sentenced the defendant to 15 years. The trial court’s certification of the defendant’s right of appeal reads, “the defendant has no right of appeal because he pled guilty or no contest pursuant to a plea bargain.” The defendant challenges the denial of the right to appeal. He says he did not enter into a plea. HOLDING:Dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. The court notes that T.R.App.P. 40(b)(1) and 25.2(b)(3) govern all plea-bargained cases and defines them as cases where the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendare and the punishment did not exceed what the state recommended and the defendant agreed to. Such was the case here, the court finds. Though the clerk’s and reporter’s records stated “without a recommendation” and “without an agreed recommendation,” the court points out in the record where the parties had agreed to a 20-year punishment cap, and the cap was written in the plea papers and the court’s judgment. “We hold that anything in the record indicating that there was no agreed recommendation did not convert this proceeding into an open plea. Absent an amended certification from the trial court, the appellate court rules it has no jurisdiction over the appeal. OPINION:Per curiam.

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