Getting a New Trial After a Conviction


After a criminal conviction has been secured, and a sentence has been handed down, defendants may sometimes wish to request a new criminal trial. This is usually done in an attempt to secure a sentence that is less severe than the initial sentence. It is very common for a motion for a new trial to be announced. In order for a motion for a new trial to be carried out, sufficient evidence must be presented by the defendant’s attorney for the presiding judge to review. This type of evidence must be newly discovered evidence that was not presented in the original trial.

Requirements for New Evidence

Courts have very specific guidelines governing exactly what kind of evidence is allowed to be presented in a motion for a new criminal trial. The evidence that is presented must be new to both the defendant and the court. In other words, it must have been discovered after the initial trial was completed. Also, the evidence must be more than mere speculation. It must be hard evidence that can be examined by the court. In addition, the evidence must not have been missed because of an incomplete search by the defense, and it must present sufficient grounds for a different result than what was reached at the original trial.

New Trials May be Granted in the Interest of Justice

Evidence for a new trial can attempt to prove that it is in the interest of justice to seek a different verdict. Usually, this type of motion asserts that the jury at the initial trial is guilty of misconduct or bias. Also, the defendant’s attorney can make a claim that the jury did not receive proper instructions that would have enabled them to issue a correct verdict. The defendant’s attorney can also make a claim that there was insufficient evidence to issue a guilty verdict or make a claim of misconduct on the part of the prosecution.

It is very difficult to convince a judge to order a new trial. Many motions for a new trial are summarily dismissed for a variety of reasons. For instance, a claim by the defendant’s attorney that the jury did not deliberate for a sufficient amount of time is frequently dismissed. Also, a claim of witness unreliability or that the jury’s final decision was inconsistent does not often stand up to scrutiny. In addition, a claim by the defendant’s attorney that certain constitutional rights were violated will be dismissed if those rights were harmlessly infringed or if such infringement did not constitute a significant impetus to change the initial verdict. The request process for a new criminal trial is quite complex, so interested defendants are advised to contact an attorney.

To learn more about reasons for a new criminal trial, speak to Mario Madrid at 713-877-9400.

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