At the end of a criminal trial, the jury must deliberate in order to reach a guilty or not guilty verdict. The verdict represents the end of the trial, but it does not always represent the end of the criminal case. If a defendant is found guilty at trial, he has the right to appeal the verdict so he can continue to fight for his freedom. Here’s what you need to know about your right to appeal a trial verdict:
What is An Appeal?
An appeal allows defendants to ask the appellate court to review their case and reverse the verdict reached in trial court. Defendants typically cannot appeal a verdict simply because they do not like the outcome of their trial. There must be some reason for appealing, such as an error made during the trial that could have affected the outcome.
What to Expect During An Appeal
The first step in an appeal is submitting a brief to the appellate court that explains the reasoning behind your request. The brief should use facts and previous court decisions to support your argument and convince the appellate court to reverse the guilty verdict.
There are no jurors present at the appeal hearing and neither side is allowed to call witnesses to the stand. Instead, both the prosecution and defense will make oral arguments before the judges. The judges will also have the opportunity to ask each side questions to better understand their arguments.
The judges will consider this information, along with evidence and transcripts from the trial, when deciding on the defendant’s fate. The judges’ decision is then put in writing and made available to the public.
What Happens After An Appeal?
If the appellate court agrees with the verdict, the case will come to an end. However, the defendant may still have the right to file another appeal to an even higher court. If the appellate court does not agree with the verdict, the case is usually sent back down to the trial court. Sometimes, the appellate court will order the trial court to hold a completely new trial. But, in other cases, the appellate court simply asks the trial court to modify the initial decision or review new evidence or facts related to the case.
Appealing a verdict is challenging, which is why you will need help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer at The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center. Our attorneys go the extra mile to help clients reach the best possible outcome in their appeal. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at email@example.com or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation today.