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Common Reasons Why Verdicts Are Appealed

judge putting gavel down

If you have been convicted of a crime or gone through civil litigation, you have the right to seek an appeal. However, you cannot seek an appeal simply because you are unhappy with the result of your case. You must be able to provide evidence that errors were made during the trial that affected the outcome of the case. Let’s discuss some of the most common reasons why verdicts are appealed.

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Plain Error

Plain error is perhaps the most general reason for filing an appeal. Plain error argues that a serious mistake was made during the trial that affected the verdict.

In order for an error to be considered a plain error, it must:

  • Be clearly obvious
  • Violate the defendant’s substantial rights

Thus, an appeals attorney can argue that the verdict needs to be reversed and the defendant needs a new trial.

Lack of Evidence

Evidentiary issues are a common reason for individuals to seek an appeal. A lack of substantial evidence can lead to a verdict being overturned. Additionally, if the judge improperly included or excluded evidence during the trial, this could also be grounds for an appeal.

A lack of meaningful evidence may show that the jury made the decision to convict based on personal feelings or biased grounds, not on the facts of the case.

Abuse of Discretion

While everyone wants to believe that judges are always fair, that is not necessarily the case.

Judges may:

  • Make judgments based on bias
  • Make judgments not based on facts of the case
  • Misinterpret the law
  • Make decisions outside of their authority
  • Deny defendant’s the ability to tell their side of the matter

If it is found that the judge made a significant error during the trial, it is possible to win an appeal.

Unfair Trial

Did you know that nearly 40% of rights violations worldwide are unfair trials? The Sixth Amendment gives Americans the right to a fair, speedy, and public trial.

The trial may be deemed unfair if the defendant was denied:

  • The right to legal counsel
  • The right to due process
  • Freedom from self-incrimination
  • The right to a jury trial
  • The right to present a defense

Dallas Appeals Attorney

Getting a verdict overturned is no easy feat. Working with an appeals attorney is the best way to set yourself up for success. At Palmer Perlstein, our attorney Niles Illich can help you through the process of filing an appeal and create a compelling argument for your case. For more information about the appeals process and how to contact Mr. Illich, click here or call us at (214) 891-3382.