Post Trial Motions

How will Post Trial Motions Help in Overturning a Wrongful Conviction?

A well-written post-trial motion is an important tool in overturning a wrongful conviction. A post-trial motion allows any errors that occurred to be fixed without the need for a direct criminal appeal or a post-conviction petition. Even more important, any issues or arguments not raised in a post-trial motion are forfeited for appeal.

Post-trial motions are a critical aspect of a direct appeal.  Post-trial motions are filed after a jury has returned a finding of guilty. The purpose of post-trial motions is to alert the judge of errors that occurred during your trial. The post-trial motion serves to establish that your trial was not fair or that the jury returned an incorrect verdict. Post-trial motions are meant to ensure that errors are corrected as soon as possible.

Therefore, a successful post-trial motion can obviate the need to even file an appeal. That is why it is so important to hire a criminal appellate attorney as soon as possible after a finding of guilty.

Types of Post-Trial Motions in Illinois

Various post-trial motions exist. However, the most common post-trial motions are:

  1. Motion for a new trial;
  2. Motion to reconsider sentence;
  3. Motion to dismiss;
  4. Motion for judgment of acquittal;
  5. Motion for a trial order of dismissal; and
  6. Motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.


Every post-trial motion is not available in each case and when available post-trial motions must generally be filed together in one post-trial motion. A well written and well researched post-trial motion is an important step to attacking and overturning a wrongful conviction. A poorly written post-trial motion can cripple your appeal and could even result in you being unable to raise meritorious arguments on appeal.


Importance of Post-Trial Motions

Illinois Supreme Court requires that a motion for a new trial to be filed before filing an appeal. Additionally, the Rules state that anything not raised in the motion for a new trial cannot be raised on appeal. Furthermore, if you want to challenge the sentence on appeal then the Illinois Supreme Court Rules require you to file a motion to reconsider sentence. In a nutshell, filing weak post-trial motions or failing to list an error can result in you not being able to argue that error on appeal. The Rules regarding the filing of post-trial motions are also different depending on whether you had a jury trial or a bench trial.

Post-trial motions are an important part of a direct appeal in both criminal appeals and civil appeals. A good post-trial motion frames the appeal and is the first opportunity to attack a wrong decision. However, a bad post-trial motion can cripple your appeal. Failing to preserve an issue can cause you to forfeit it on appeal.

If you have been found guilty of a crime, it is not to late to get the justice that you deserve. We can file the appropriate post-trial motions on your behalf and we will comb through every aspect of your case to see if you received a fair and impartial trial.

Jaleel Law P.C.

1550 Spring Road, Suite 120

Oak Brook, Illinois  60523

United States (US)

Phone: 630-360-2LAW (2529)
Fax: 630-504-2107

Areas We Serve

Centrally located in Du Page County we represent clients in trial and appellate courts throughout Illinois including the counties of Cook County, Du Page County; Will County, and Kane County. We have won on behalf of clients at the Daley Center; 26th and California; Bridgeview; Skokie; Rolling Meadows; Maywood; Markham; and all the branch courts in Chicago; and the Northern District of Illinois along with all five Illinois Appellate Courts and the federal circuit court of appeals.