When you file an appeal, the law offers an opportunity to provide proof of an error made during your trial. According to the United States Department of Justice, suppressed evidence and wrongful convictions are common reasons for appealing a judge’s decision.
While an appeal may not result in a new trial, it may lead to a reversal of your conviction. A judge may also decide to change or reduce your sentence. Based on the strength of the evidence you provide, you may petition the court to reconsider the outcome of your trial.
When may I file an appeal and what may occur next?
Convicted defendants have a right to appeal a final judgment and must file it within 10 days, as noted by the Missouri Courts’ website. A final judgment generally includes the jury’s final verdict and a defendant’s sentence. If your court case ended without a sentence, however, you may not file an appeal.
The American Bar Association notes that the purpose of appealing is to protect defendants from convictions based on errors. Verdicts based on a jury’s lack of sufficient facts or evidence, for example, may require an appellate judge to review your case.
What are some other reasons that may allow me to appeal?
The U.S. Constitution offers defendants a right to a speedy trial. You may request an appeal if the court delayed your trial or if the jury’s decision resulted from unsupported evidence. A prosecutor’s misconduct that affected the outcome of your case may provide cause for an appeal.
Defendants convicted of an offense under Missouri’s statutes or federal law have a right to petition the court for an appeal. With sufficient proof of legal errors or misconduct, a trial may require a new outcome.