Not every criminal trial ends in a favorable result for the accused. However, a guilty verdict does not have to be the end of the story. Depending on the circumstances, a person can appeal the lower court’s decision in order to reduce the sentence they received.
It is important to note that an appeal is not a new trial, meaning that the appellate court will review the record of the lower court and will not consider any new evidence. Ultimately, it must be shown that a substantial or material error was made in the initial trial. This means that the appellate court will only consider errors that affect the accused’s rights in a substantial manner, as opposed to merely “harmless” errors.
There are several bases on which a person can seek a criminal appeal. One is that the trial court made a serious error of law. Another is that the evidence submitted at trial was insufficient to support the verdict. A third basis is that the trial court committed an abuse of discretion. Finally, an appeal can be based on a violation of the accused’s Sixth Amendment right to adequate legal representation.
The burden of proof in a criminal appeal is on the accused, rather than the prosecutor. However, if you win your appeal the appellate court can reverse the trial court’s decision and/or reduce your sentence. That being said, this post cannot guarantee any specific result in the criminal appeals process. Those seeking an appeal may benefit from enlisting the aid of a criminal defense attorney who represent clients in the appellate process.