An Appeal in a process for requesting a formal change to a legal decision. In the criminal case context, an appeal after a criminal trial generally asserts that a decision or act in the lower trial court was erroneous or wrong. The appeal serves as an attempt to correct the error in the hope that the problem will be corrected, resulting in the proper outcome (generally a dismissed case or new trial that had ended in a guilty verdict).
Appeals are partly based on the legal right and concept of Due Process, meaning that each person stepping foot into the courtroom will be treated fairly throughout the process.
Common errors that are appealed in the criminal case include mistaken rulings on issues of law, witnesses testifying in an improper way or revealing improper information, the jury hearing evidence that should have been suppressed, or not allowing an expert witness to testify concerning a specific area of expertise.
Errors that are considered prejudicial will give rise to an appeal. If there is an error in a trial, but that error would not have altered the hearing or outcome of the case, it is not a reversible error, meaning the act would not be given appeal.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the court of last resort for criminal cases in Texas.
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