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Motioning for a New Trial in Texas: The Complete Guide

Posted on June 5, 2013 by Mintzer Law

Receiving a new criminal trial is a difficult task, but it can be achieved if certain requirements or circumstances are met that warrant a new trial. A new trial is often requested after a person has been convicted of a crime. The request can be given whether the conviction was handed down by a jury or a judge.

Interest of Justice

There are some instances where a defendant can request a new trial because it would be an injustice to not do so. Although the courts have the ability to exercise extreme discretion when deciding whether to grant a new trial, there are some reasons that prevail, including:

  • Evidence was not present to warrant a conviction
  • The prosecutor is guilty of misconduct
  • Bias among the jury
  • Misconduct among the jury
  • The jury did not receive proper instructions
  • The judge did not reveal a conflict of interest before presiding over the case

There are also many instances where defendants have attempted to have a new trial, but have failed. Some of the more common reasons include:

  • Short deliberation by the jury
  • Lack of witness credibility
  • Jury verdict inconsistencies
  • Defense was unable to call certain witnesses
  • Constitutional violations that are harmless

Introducing New Evidence

The most compelling reason a case is set for a new trial is due to new evidence. Even in this instance, there are a variety of guidelines that must be met before a new trial can be granted. The evidence must meet certain criteria, such as:

  • The evidence cannot be known of during the initial trial
  • The evidence could not have been easily obtained during the first trial
  • The evidence must be completely new and not simply an addition to other evidence
  • The new evidence will likely result in a different outcome in a new trial

Evidence such as this can be hard to come by and cannot simply be a strategy employed by the defense to draw out the legal process. If there is any indication that the evidence was known of during the first trial, the new trial will be unable to take place.

Working Towards a New Trial

Gaining a new trial will take diligence on the part of the defense team. Adequate observation must take place during the initial trial to ensure that none of the actions of the court would lead to a new trial being necessary. The aim of the legal system is to give defendants a fair trial. If the initial trial is flawed in some way, the legal system is obligated to grant a new trial to make sure justice is done.

If you need help attaining a new criminal trial, get in touch with Rand Mintzer today at 713-862-8880.