Criminal trials can be tough, and sometimes, due to errors made by the court or for other reasons, they do not end how we want them. But what’s next? Have you ever wondered what happens immediately after someone loses their criminal trial and is convicted? Well, the first thing that can happen after a finding of guilty at trial is that a motion for a new trial can be filed by defense counsel with the trial court. In Louisiana, the Shreveport, LA criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams can do this for you if your case requires it.
A motion for a new trial in Louisiana is a request to the court for relief from the conviction based on an injustice that has taken place during the proceedings. According to LA Code Crim Pro Art. 852 (2022), it must be in writing, state the basis for the motion, and be “tried contradictorily with the district attorney.” Once a defendant has made a motion for a new trial, the court must determine if injustice has been done. It is a defendant’s obligation to show that an injustice has taken place during the proceedings. The motion will be denied if the court finds that no injustice was done.
However, a motion for a new trial must be granted if the trial court finds that any of the following circumstances exist:
When Should A Motion for a New Trial Be Filed?
Generally, a motion for a new trial must be filed and resolved before a defendant is sentenced. In fact, the court may postpone sentencing for a specified period to give the defendant additional time to prepare and file a motion for a new trial. But, said postponement will only be allowed upon motion of the defendant and for good cause shown.
With that said, if the motion for a new trial is based on the discovery of new evidence, the motion can be filed up to one year after the verdict or judgment of the trial court. This is true even if a sentence has been imposed and a motion for a new trial was previously filed. Notably, the trial court may not hear the motion while an appeal is pending and may only hear the motion if the case is remanded.
In addition, when new evidence is discovered if a motion for a new trial is based on the fact that a defendant is the victim of human trafficking or the trafficking of children for sexual purposes and was convicted of acts that were committed as a direct result of said trafficking activity, a motion for a new trial can be filed within three years after the verdict or judgment of the trial court. But, like motions based on the discovery of new evidence, the court cannot hear the motion while an appeal is pending and may only hear the motion on remand of the case.
What happens if a New Trial is Granted?
The verdict or judgment is set aside if the trial court grants a defendant’s motion for a new trial. In that case, a retrial is permitted with as little prejudice to either party as if it had never gone to trial in the first place. In the event that the motion for a new trial is denied, the defendant is sentenced if necessary. In that case, the defendant’s next option is to appeal the conviction and/or judgment and possibly the sentence.
Call The Law Offices of Philip B. Adams Today
The Law Offices of Philip B. Adams has Louisiana criminal defense lawyers with experience working on all aspects of criminal cases, including motions for a new trial. The firm focuses on criminal defense and has the trial experience to see cases through until the end. We keep fighting at every stage of the litigation.
If you are looking for an attorney who understands criminal cases from start to finish and that can help explain the process to you, do not hesitate to contact our criminal defense firm to set up a consultation. Our office is located in Shreveport, Louisiana, and we are ready to fight for you.