What is a motion for a new trial?

criminal trial

If your criminal trial has ended in a conviction, don’t lose hope just yet. In some cases, defendants can file a motion for a new trial. Essentially, this means the case would go back to square one. However, judges rarely grant motions for a new trial as there are only a few grounds that warrant the need for a new trial. For the most part, a judge will only grant this type of request when there has been a significant error or a serious injustice that has prevented a defendant from receiving a fair trial. If this is the case, you may be able to receive a new trial which can lead to a better outcome than that of the original trial. Keep reading to learn how a motion for a new trial can benefit your criminal case and discover how our determined Camden County Criminal Defense Attorney can help you navigate this legal process. 

When will a judge grant a motion for a new trial?

As mentioned above, if your criminal trial has resulted in a conviction, post-trial you may be able to file a motion for a new trial. Typically, a judge will only grant a motion for a new trial under limited circumstances. For instance, if there was a significant legal error such as a judge wrongly excluded certain evidence from being presented at trial that would have made a significant difference in the outcome of the jury’s verdict, the case could be overturned on appeal if a particular ruling was unfair. In this case, the trial judge would grant a new trial to avoid the ruling error resulting in an appeal.

Another instance where a judge may grant a motion for a new trial is if new evidence comes to light. However, the discovery of new evidence only warrants a new trial under certain circumstances. Firstly, the defense must not have known about the evidence during the trial. Additionally, the new evidence must not have been obtainable during the trial as well as it must be capable of causing a jury to change its original verdict. Further, a judge may also grant your motion for a new trial to correct an injustice that occurred during the original trial. For instance, if one of the jury members had made racist comments and the judge discovered this information after the trial concluded, a new trial would be warranted as jurors must make decisions based on facts, not based on their discriminatory and biased beliefs. Generally, these are the only grounds that would call for a new trial.

For more information on how a motion for a new trial can benefit your case, please contact one of our skilled and dedicated team members. Our firm can help protect your constitutional rights and ensure you receive a fair trial.

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