If you are charged and convicted of a crime, you do not have to give up. You can still potentially overturn your conviction on appeal. However, you cannot appeal a conviction simply because you are not happy with the outcome. You must have a basis for appealing your conviction.
To err is human – and police, juries and judges are all human. The law allows you to appeal a criminal conviction if any of these parties made an error that significantly impacted your case. What if new evidence emerges after your conviction? Can you appeal your conviction on that basis?
There is no guarantee the court will accept new evidence
It is important to understand that an appeal is not a new trial. Rather, it is an opportunity for the appellate court to determine if the trial court made an error that significantly impacted the outcome of your trial.
With that said, if you have new evidence, you may appeal your conviction. If this evidence is significant enough to cast doubt on your guilt, then the court may order a retrial. For instance, DNA evidence is considered significant evidence in a criminal trial. However, if the appeal court does not believe the new evidence is significant enough to impact the outcome of your case, it is likely to refuse your appeal.
You may also appeal your conviction on the basis of new evidence if you can prove that the trial court made an error by excluding the evidence you presented during your trial. Again, you will need to demonstrate to the appeal court that the trial court’s dismissal of your evidence severely impacted the outcome of your case.
Should you appeal your conviction?
If you are wrongfully convicted, you definitely deserve justice – especially if new evidence shows that you might not have committed the crime in question. Learning how criminal appeals work can help you build a strong case for your appeal with the assistance of a legal professional.