Criminal Appeals and Motions for New Trial
After trial you’re automatically entitled to what is called a “direct” appeal of the verdict at your trial.
With a direct appeal you are limited to what is called “the record,” which consists of your trial transcripts and other documents and events that were part of your case up to the time of trial. For many cases this is enough, and the Appeals Court can decide whether there were any errors that warrant reversing your conviction.
Motions for New Trial
But for other cases, being limited to the trial record is not good enough. That’s where motions for new trial come in, where we are able to actually add evidence to the record.
Sometimes it’s evidence that your trial attorney might not have uncovered, or maybe they didn’t understand the importance of it. Sometimes it’s evidence that is new and was unavailable at the time of your trial.