A “not guilty” verdict typically does end a case in the State of California. Therefore, defendants often think once they have been dealt a “guilty” verdict then the case is over. However, this doesn’t always have to be true. If a defendant believes the conviction was decided upon in error then he or she has the option to appeal the court’s decision in California. To appeal, means to ask a higher court to reverse a conviction. An appeal is considered successful if a court decides to restore the case to the initial stages. Though, at times, a successful appeal can even result in a case being ended altogether, with the conviction overturned. This can happen – though sometimes difficult to prove – when the appeal is made due to the fact that there is insufficient evidence.
What Does Insufficient Evidence Mean?
It is defined as a finding that the prosecution in a criminal case or lawsuit failed to prove the case was appropriate through the presentation of strong evidence against the defendant. Simply put, there is or was not enough evidence to convict the defendant, which means there was insufficient evidence. Often, insufficient evidence results in the dismissal of a case. If the case has been completed, a proof of insufficient evidence, through an appeal, can lead to the reversal of a judgement, however.
An Example of Insufficient Evidence
This can be a complicated issue to comprehend. It is important to team up with an attorney who is experienced when it comes to appeals. He or she will be able to decide if it is right to appeal your specific conviction on the grounds of insufficient evidence. The following is an example of when it just may be appropriate to appeal a criminal conviction in California. Suppose a defendant is charged and then convicted of robbery. This robbery took place on a city street. Even though the victim did not see who robbed her, a passerby, who was high on drugs at the time and is legally blind, identified the defendant as the criminal. The jury took into account only the testimony of the man who passed by. Sometimes, the jury does get it wrong and convicts an innocent individual of a crime. A jury can make a decision based on a prejudice or out of compassion for the victim instead of the facts presented. However, the California criminal law requires that a jury must believe a defendant is guilty beyond a “reasonable doubt.”
This means that the evidence is so strong that there is no other possible explanation other than that the defendant committed the crime. If the prosecution did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, but the jury still decided on a conviction, you can appeal on the specific grounds of insufficient evidence.