A motion for a new trial is just what it sounds like. When a defendant is convicted, they can ask to overturn the result and get a new trial. This is only a valid motion in some situations though, and it is not the same as an appeal. A Bergen County criminal defense attorney can help you learn more.
What is the Difference Between an Appeal and a Motion for a New Trial?
An appeal is filed when you have been convicted and think that an appellate court might overturn the verdict against you. The motion for a new trial suggests that the first trial is ignored and that a new one takes its place, allowing a defendant another chance to convince a jury that they should be found not guilty.
Both seem similar on the surface, as they both offer another chance to defendants. However, a motion for a new trial is really only available to those who believe that their constitutional rights were trampled on in some way during the original proceedings. If they believe that there was a grave injustice done to them, they can try to have the previous trial’s result completely thrown out and have another chance with a new jury.
When Can You Seek a Motion for a New Trial?
There are only a few situations where a motion for a new trial is likely to be accepted. An attorney can file a motion if:
- The previous trial had significant legal errors
- New information and evidence that would aid the defense have come to light
- The constitutional rights of the defendant were not respected
- The jury was biased or prejudiced
Can I Be Denied a New Trial?
Yes. You are not guaranteed another trial just because you make a motion for one. Scrapping the old trial and starting a new one is not a decision that any judge would take lightly. The burden of proof is really on the defendant to show that their rights were violated and that the case could have gone differently if things were truly fair.
You could even be denied another trial if you showed that there was new evidence or a legal error. This is because you have to show that the error or evidence potentially could have had a major impact on the jury and the verdict. Maybe an error was committed, but it was a minor one that was unlikely to change the verdict. Maybe new evidence has come to light, but it really would not have been able to become a core component of the defense.
Essentially, if it looks likely that you would have been convicted anyway, there is little chance of you getting another trial.
Consult With a Defense Attorney
If you need to learn more about your legal options after you have been criminally charged, contact the Law Office of Attorney Conway. We can schedule an initial consultation and tell you more about how we can help with your case.