The Difference Between a Motion for a New Trial and an Appeal
You’ve been convicted of a crime. What are your options now?
Your legal battle does not have to be over. There are two options that may be available to you: having your attorney file a motion for a new trial or an appeal. Which of these options is best for you?
Motion for a New Trial (PC 1181)
The first option to consider is filing a motion for a new trial. A motion for a new trial is essentially asking the court for a do-over. You are asking the court to throw out the verdict, bring in a new jury, and try your case again. Why would a court do this?
Your attorney must show when filing your motion that at least one of the following issues occurred during the criminal process, and the result was that you were denied a fair trial:
- Juror misconduct – This could include a juror conducting their own investigation of the facts and deciding based upon those facts;
- Prosecutorial misconduct – For example, a prosecutor hiding evidence from the court that shows you did not commit the crime;
- Errors of law – This could include the court giving improper instructions to the jury;
- Newly discovered evidence – For instance, law enforcement finds DNA evidence that does not match your DNA; or
- Destruction of the trial record – This denies your attorney the ability to review the transcript and analyze your case for appeal.
Additionally, the judge could decide you were convicted based upon “insufficient evidence” that could not have shown your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, the court can throw out the jury’s guilty verdict and dismiss your case.
Appealing Your Conviction (PC 1237)
If your motion for a new trial is denied, another option is to appeal your conviction. An appeal is not a new trial. There will be no jury, no new facts presented, and no witnesses questioned. An appeal is a review of your trial to determine if the lower court made a mistake of law that resulted in your conviction.
An appellate court does not review questions of fact, such as whether a witness was credible or that the jury should have decided a disputed fact differently. The appellate court will look at the record of the case, hear arguments from your attorney and the prosecution, and decide if the first trial court made a legal error that resulted in your conviction.
Like a motion for a new trial, an appeal can be based upon several different grounds, including:
- Denial of constitutional rights
- Prosecutorial misconduct
- Juror misconduct
- Insufficient evidence
- False arrest
- Improper admission or exclusion of evidence
- Ineffective assistance of counsel
- Errors in sentencing or law
If your appeal is successful, the appellate court can order a new trial, a reduction in your sentence, or the complete dismissal of your case.
Contact the Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you have been convicted of a crime, do not give up the fight for your freedom. A motion for a new trial or appeal could help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case. Contact our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys at Wallin & Klarich to help you fight your conviction. Our criminal attorneys have more than 40 years of experience in post-conviction matters. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.