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:
- Motion for a new trial;
- Motion to reconsider sentence;
- Motion to dismiss;
- Motion for judgment of acquittal;
- Motion for a trial order of dismissal; and
- 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.
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.