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Criminal Case: The Verdict and Appeal

Once the jury has deliberated and they all area able to agree on a decision, they will return and present their decision to the court. They may find the defendant not guilty and this is referred to as an acquittal. When this occurs, the defendant will be released from custody and due to the double jeopardy law, they cannot be charged for the crime again.

When they are found not guilty this is different from a charge of innocence. Innocence would mean that the jury did not do it but not guilty means that the jury was not convinced by the evidence and arguments that the defendant committed the crime beyond all reasonable doubt. If the defendant is found guilty, they will then be sentenced for the crime. In a case where there are multiple charges, a defendant may be found guilty on some accounts and not guilty on others.

When a defendant is found guilty, they may be able to pursue having the case appealed. This can be done when they believe there was not enough evidence for the verdict they received or when they believe mistakes took place which hurt their case. In a misdemeanor case, the Notice of Appeal should be filed within 30 days from the date of judgment or order. In a felony case, the Notice of Appeal-Felony should be filed within 60 days from the date of judgment or order.

An appeal with will be handled by the appellate court and they will simply review the information from the previous trial, rather than holding a completely new trial. In order for them to choose to overturn the other decision, they need to see that some error occurred that influenced the final verdict.