When you go to court, whether you face criminal charges or bring a civil claim against someone else, you rely on a judge or a jury to interpret the law and enter an appropriate ruling. Unfortunately, some people who put their faith in the criminal justice system feel sorely disappointed by the outcome of their cases.
If you feel very strongly that the result of your day in court is inappropriate or unfair, you may have the option of appealing the ruling. What are some of the common reasons that you can request a hearing from the appellate courts?
A misinterpretation of the law or precedent
People sometimes mistake what happens during an appeal. The process does not involve going through a trial again. Instead, the judges in an appellate court review the documentation from the prior case to determine if there were obvious mistakes or errors in judgment.
Sometimes, the courts will determine that a judge or a prosecutor inappropriately applied the law or previous court precedent. In such cases, they may reverse the prior ruling or even send the case back to the lower courts.
An unfair trial
One of the more common reasons that people will heal a ruling is that they believe the outcome is unfair or that the circumstances of their trial were unjust. Discovering that the judge or the prosecuting attorney had a conflict of interest could be grounds for an appeal. So could revelations that one of the jurors misrepresented their personal history. Finally, inadequate legal counsel from an attorney could lead to an unfair situation for a defendant and open the case up to an appeal.
Sometimes, appeals occur because some new information comes to light. Maybe the police identify a new suspect or uncover security camera footage that could affect the outcome of the case. New evidence can even impact family law matters, such as when one spouse discovers after the divorce decree that the other hid thousands of dollars in property from the courts.
When you understand the basic grounds for appeals, you can more easily explore the possibility of going back to court and maybe reversing the previous outcome of your case. Getting professional help when considering an appeal may improve your chances of a successful filing.