Facing a criminal charge is a tough predicament to be in. A defendant might look at the situation as being helpless. He or she sees the evidence against them, believing that they do not have a chance to fight the pending charges. Even if it looks like conviction is likely, defendants have the ability to assert a defense, no matter the situation. And if an unfavorable result occurs, it is still possible to take defensive action.
How can you reverse a conviction? A defendant is able to appeal the trial court's decision. This typically means that the appeals judge will look at the trial court finding. The findings of fact will be considered versus matters of law. In other words, the goal of appealing a decision is to have the appellate court determine if the trial court erred in such a way that it contributed to the outcome of the case. If such a situation did occur, the court can overturn a guilty verdict.
Convicted defendants have the right to challenge a verdict, but this is not because he or she believes the wrong verdict was reached. The challenge must be because he or she believes that something went wrong at the trial court level. If a defendant believes something went wrong, he or she has two options to reverse their conviction.
The first is to file an appeal. The appeal must be specific when claiming that errors were made. They must make a convincing argument that a serious mistake was made, such as police exceeding the specific scope of a search warrant, which led to evidence being illegally obtained.
The second option is through writs. If a defendant has exhausted all their appeals options and still believes that injustice or mistakes occurred at the trail court level, it is possible to file a writ. This is an order from a higher court directing the lower court to take some form of action. Writs are typically filed in extraordinary situations, such as when an error did not occur but a form of injustice took place that was beyond the defendant's control.
Those going through the criminal defense process or seeking to reverse a guilty verdict should understand the process and how best to initiate it. This will ensure he or she is aware of their rights, criminal defense options and has taken steps to protect heir rights and interests in the matter.