Appeals: What They Are and What Sets Them Apart from Trials

One of the largest misconceptions surrounding law includes the belief that once a case has been tried and settled, the decision cannot be overturned or changed. Many of these court decisions (typically in state and federal courts) can be subject to review by an appeals court. This includes decisions regarding almost all types of civil cases.

If the appeal involves a judge’s order or a final judgement from a jury, the appeals court will review what occurred for any errors that may have happened that, in turn, resulted in an unfair decision. If the court happens to find an error where this has happened, said decision can be reversed. If the appeals court makes a final decision, any further opportunities for other appeals becomes limited. Below, you’ll find more information about appeals and what differentiates them from trials.

The Differences Between Appeals and Trials

Those who have little knowledge of the legal field should know that trials and appeals share very few similarities but many important differences. With a trial, both a prosecutor and defense attorney present their cases, evidence and witnesses. Following this, a jury is left to decide the facts of the case to make a decision based on what they’ve been shown in court. With a judge, he or she controls what happens in court and rules on the motions and objections made by the prosecutor and defense attorney.

An appeal, like we mentioned above, is a review of the trial court’s decision in a case. With this type of legal exercise, there is no jury and the attorneys representing both sides don’t present evidence or witnesses. The court will accept the facts that were presented in the trial court unless something has been found that weighs against the evidence.

Another difference between appeals and trials includes the amounts of judges involved in the exercise. In trials, only one judge is present. In an appeals court, several judges can preside over a case, depending on the jurisdiction. These groups are known as panels.

Helping You with Your Case

Although our lawyers have professional experience in litigation matters, they’re also well-versed in the methods and practices of appeals courts. For a client who believes that their case’s decision was not made fairly, an appeal can be the best course of action to take. In that case, we want to help.

We can help file an appeal for either state or federal cases where we believe that your situation was unfairly heard or a factor in some way played a role in a final decision that was not fairly made. If you believe that your case deserves both an appeal and the guidance of a team of attorneys who know the process in and out, contact our lawyers in McAllen today to get started.

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