Unfortunately, criminal trials are not free from errors. In some cases, this can result in a wrongful conviction and an appeal. Other times, errors are simply accepted and the case moves forward, anyway. Below are four main types of errors and their ramifications.
A harmless error is one that doesn't actually impact the case very much. It is a mistake, but the outcome wasn't any different based on it. These usually do not lead to appeals or overturned verdicts.
Also known as fundamental errors in some cases, these are a clear violation of a person's legal rights. It means a verdict typically cannot stand and an appeal is very likely.
These are mistakes that are "obvious and indisputable." There's no question about whether or not an error was made, and it would be a miscarriage of justice to let the verdict stand.
An invited error is one that the defendant actually caused, typically by encouraging the court to take a certain action or by directly requesting it. The key thing to remember with invited errors is that the defendant cannot seek an appeal after one is made. This is done to keep people from intentionally introducing errors into their cases just to give themselves the grounds for an appeal should they go on to lose those cases.
The Appeals Process
Do you believe that errors were made in your case? For instance, perhaps you know that the court applied the law incorrectly. With the facts of the case as they are, you should never have been convicted, but the court convicted you, anyway. Maybe the jury was biased against you or did not understand the law.
Either way, it is important to understand all of your legal options, which may include the right to an appeal to set things straight.
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