It seems like a simple question. Most of my clients believe that when you appeal a conviction you get to let the appellate court know all the mistakes that were made during trial. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
There are two factors that limit the complaints (or points of error) that you can raise on appeal.
The first limiting factor is the concept of preservation. Although there are some exceptions, for the most part you only get raise issues on appeal that were preserved during the trial. The usual steps to preservation are: 1) make an objection; 2) make sure the trial court rules on your objection; and 3) if you are trying to admit something into evidence, make sure you make a record of what you would have admitted if allowed. If these steps are not taken, the appellate court will not be able to review your complaint, even if it was an otherwise valid legal issue.