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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS: Lawrence Wendall Few pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in February 2001. The trial court deferred adjudication and he was put on probation for two years. In April 2002, the state moved to adjudicate guilt, and in June 2003 filed its first amended motion to adjudicate guilt. Few filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus on June 17, 2003. He raised claims of actual innocence, excessive bail, involuntary servitude and “sham proceedings” perpetrated by “unregistered foreign agents.” He then got an attorney, who filed an application for writ of habeas corpus on July 16 raising claims related to bond and that the June 2003 motion to adjudicate guilt was barred by limitations. Few filed a second pro se petition for writ the next day, raising the same issues as in his first petition. On July 22, the trial court issued an order denying habeas corpus relief. Few’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss for want of a speedy trial on July 28. She cited the 15-month delay between the state’s first and second motions to adjudicate guilt. She also said, as she did in the writ of habeas corpus, that Few was prejudiced by this delay. At an Aug. 26 hearing on Few’s motion to dismiss and the state’s original motion to adjudicate guilt, Few testified to circumstances surrounding entry of his guilty plea, which testimony his attorney said was necessary because it demonstrated that his plea was not voluntary. The trial court overruled Few’s motion to dismiss and granted the state’s motion to adjudicate guilt. Few’s attorney asked the trial court’s permission to appeal, and the trial court said that if it was necessary, then permission was granted. Few filed a motion for new trial on Sept. 3, and a notice of appeal on Nov. 20. Meanwhile, on Nov. 28, the trial court signed an unexplained order denying habeas corpus relief. The trial court also filed a certification of right of appeal on Dec. 15, noting that the appeal concerned a plea bargain but raised additional issues, and that the trial court was granting permission to appeal. On appeal, Few raises five issues: 1. whether he timely raised his argument regarding the voluntariness of his guilty plea; 2. whether his guilty plea was knowing and voluntary; 3. whether he was denied effective assistance of counsel before he pleaded guilty; 4. whether he was denied his right to a speedy trial before entering his guilty plea; and 5. whether the revocation of his probation was barred by limitations. HOLDING: Appeal dismissed. The court explains that under Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 25.2(a)(2), a plea bargain defendant can appeal matters that were raised by written motion filed and ruled on before trial, or matters that were raised after getting the trial court’s permission to appeal. Generally, a defendant who is placed on deferred adjudication probation may raise issues relating to the original plea proceeding only in an appeal taken when deferred adjudication probation is first imposed. There are two exceptions, the court continues: when the judgment is void (such as when the trial court did not have jurisdiction, or when there was no evidence to support the conviction), or when there exist issues in a habeas corpus petition filed before probation was revoked, if the issues are properly raised in a writ of habeas corpus and if the defendant attempted to litigate the issues at the revocation hearing. Furthermore, the court adds, an appeal from a decision adjudicating guilt cannot raise arguments about the adjudication of guilt process, only issues that arose after the adjudication of guilt, such as punishment. None of the issues raised by Few on appeal fall within the narrow list of reasons for declaring a judgment void. However, some of Few’s issues are cognizable by a writ of habeas corpus, and Few did try to litigate them. Nevertheless, the court still determines that Few did not satisfy all of the requirements of the habeas corpus exception. Few’s speedy trial claim was also raised in a separate motion filed by Few’s attorney. The attorney’s motion was litigated during the adjudication proceeding, and the order was signed before the habeas corpus hearing was held. The order denying habeas relief was immediately appealable, the court adds. The trial court’s certification of Few’s right of appeal does not change the court’s conclusion that it lacks the power to consider issues related to the guilty plea. The trial court did not have authority to give Few permission to appeal those issues. After reviewing a series of cases dealing with the appeal of issues from deferred adjudication proceedings, the court determines that Rule 25.2(a)(2) is an additional barrier for a plea-bargaining defendant who wants to raise issues related to the plea and conviction in an appeal from the revocation of deferred adjudication probation. Even though Few had the trial court’s permission, he was still prohibited from raising issues related to his original plea pursuant to Manuel v. State, 994 S.W.2d 658 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999). OPINION: Larsen, J.; Barajas, C.J., Larsen and Chew, JJ.

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