If a judgment is ordered against you in a criminal trial, an appeal is likely your last chance to avoid a permanent conviction. Here’s what to expect after you win a criminal appeal.
The criminal trial process can be emotionally and financially draining for a defendant. In many cases, the time from indictment until a verdict is issued can take months. When a judgment is issued against you, filing a motion for an appeal extends this process even further. However, a criminal appeal is often the only chance a defendant has left to regain their freedom and avoid a conviction.
It can be extremely challenging to win an appeal, but when the court of appeals returns their decision in your favor, it presents the opportunity for a fresh start. However, winning an appeal doesn’t automatically eliminate the possibility of a conviction. Here is what you need to know about what occurs after you win your appeal.
Understanding an Appeal in a Criminal Trial
The appeal process is designed to ensure a fair trial process for anyone who has been accused of a crime. There is an incredible amount of complex legal procedure that occurs during the trial process, with plenty of opportunities for errors to occur. When a legal error occurred that might have had an effect on the outcome, either side can file a notice of appeal. While many people already realize this, what isn’t always so clear is what happens after you actually win an appeal in a criminal trial.
First, it’s important to realize that winning an appeal doesn’t provide a guarantee that a conviction will be completely overturned. In some cases, a motion for an appeal is based on an unfair sentence and can result in lighter sentenced being issued rather than an overturn of the conviction.
When an appeal is won, usually it simply means that the slate is wiped clean and that the stage is set for a new trial to begin. This opportunity provides obvious benefits for the defense, especially since they’ve already seen where the weaknesses in their case reside. From the perspective of the prosecution, they also have the chance to rebuild their case. However, the prosecution also has the opportunity to review the case and decide if it’s in their best interests to move for dismissal rather than reinvest the resources in a new trial.
One thing that a defendant might not consider is the possibility of a harsher sentence should the new trial result in a second conviction. The prosecution has the same advantages that the defense has and can use this opportunity to build an even stronger case against you. It’s incredibly important to have a powerful, experienced legal team on your side after you win an appeal.
What Happens After You Win an Appeal?
There are several things that can happen when you win an appeal in your criminal trial. The most common outcome is that the appellate court will issue a judgment for the reversal of the trial court’s decision and order that a new trial is initiated. As mentioned previously, this opportunity basically clears the slate and positions the defendant back at the initial stage of the trial process.
In the event that an appeal was won based on the inclusion of evidence that should not have been permitted, the prosecution may decide that their case is weakened without being able to use that evidence. If this is the case, they may decide to dismiss the case against you.
Another common outcome in this situation is that the prosecution will offer a plea agreement, which will likely include reduced charges or penalties. This agreement may be an attractive offer for the defense, especially if the initial conviction was a felony with a significant penalty.
The appellate court might also award an appeal for a reversal of judgment. This situation happens when the defense was able to establish that a legal error occurred during the judgment or sentencing phase of the trial. In this case, the conviction remains but the sentence will be reevaluated and the defense will receive a new trial for judgment and sentencing purposes.
The third possible outcome is a reversal for an acquittal. This outcome is the least common type of appeal judgment and happens when the appellate court determines that evidence was insufficient to support the conviction that was issued. In the rare cases when this happens, the defendant is acquitted of charges and cannot be retried a second time for the offense.
When You Need an Appellate Attorney in Dallas
Winning a criminal appeal is a major step in recovering from a conviction in a criminal trial. Even a strong defense team might not be equipped to successfully handle the appeals process. If you’ve been convicted and want to appeal, it’s important that you work with an experienced appellate attorney in Dallas to review your case. Winning an appeal can completely change the outcome of a criminal trial. Place your future in the hands of appellate counsel from the Law Office of Broden & Mickelsen because their attorneys are prepared to defend your freedom.
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Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case.