Although it does not happen very often it is important to know that sometimes it can be possible for a judge to grant a defendant the right to a new trial even if their criminal trial ends in a conviction. Courts have been known to grant the motion of a new trial (albeit rarely) in situations where it turns out there may be new evidence that points to the defendant’s innocence, or if it is believed there were significant errors that took place during the original trial. Another circumstance where a court may grant a motion for a new trial is if they believe some sort of “miscarriage of justice” took place, basically anything that occurs that may have prevented the defendant from receiving a fair trial could give a judge a reason to grant this type of motion.
Fixing a Significant Legal Error
There are times where mistakes are made during a trial that could have led to the jury reaching a verdict without knowing all of the facts. An example of this would be a judge not allowing a witnesses’ testimony to be heard in court because they believed it to be hearsay, however they later believe there was an exception that should have been applied in the case and therefore the testimony should in fact have been heard which would lead to a motion for a new trial. Typically the judge who presides over a trial will also be the same judge who would preside over the new trial if the motion went through, so often they will not find a significant legal error in the work they already did. If that judge realizes their mistake however, they may put through the motion so that they could fix the error in the new trial and avoid their decision being overturned on an appeal.
Another reason a judge would allow a new trial to be had is so that they could correct a “miscarriage of justice” that occurred in the original trial. For example, if a defendant is found guilty of a crime yet after the trial it is learned that one of the jurors made a statement during the trial that they were going to find the defendant guilty even though they did not believe that to be so a judge may order a retrial since every defendant is entitled to an impartial jury and the biased statements the juror made during the trial proved that this was not the case. A new trial could also be ordered if it was found out the defendant’s legal rights were not followed correctly such as not being read their Miranda rights at the time of their arrest.
Contact a Knowledgeable New Jersey Criminal Attorney Today
It is important to be aware of all of your rights and options when you are in a situation such as this which is why you need a qualified attorney like Stephen R. Piper to stand up for you in court. Contact us today for an initial consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.