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Verdict Related Questions

A verdict is the decision of a jury. A jury is assigned to hear evidence that has been presented by both sides of a trial, examining the facts, applying the facts to relevant law and then voting on a final outcome (a verdict). While a judge generally upholds most verdicts, he/she does have the discretion to set aside a verdict depending upon the circumstances. The questions below regarding verdicts have been answered by Experts.

Can a judge overturn a jury's guilty verdict in a criminal case at sentencing?

A judge cannot overturn a verdict, however he/she can issue a "verdict not withstanding judgment" once the verdict has been rendered. The best way to get a verdict overturned is to have the defendant file an appeal. The notice of appeal must be filed within 10 days of the entry of the verdict. Also, the defendant should file the appeal to the court of appeals within 30 days. The appellate court will then review the case and determine if the verdict should be overturned.

Can the person found guilty make the Motion to Set Aside the Verdict himself?

If a person is found guilty, they can make a motion to set aside the verdict. Generally making this type of motion can prove to be difficult because a judge will rarely overrule a jury. Usually this type of motion is found in regards to damages or sentencing. For example, a person spills hot coffee that they bought from a well known food chain. The person sues the food chain because the coffee was extremely hot but the cup didn't have a label warning of the hot coffee. The person receives mild burns on their lap from the coffee and there were no lasting injuries. However, the jury decides to award the person $5 million in damages. The judge has the authority to set aside the money part of the verdict and set a more appropriate amount for the damages received.

You could also make a motion for a new trial based on the poor representation by your attorney during the trial. You could possibly succeed on this motion if you can prove that your attorney was ineffective and caused you to lose your case. If you are unable to do this, your other option would be to file an appeal.

I have appealed a guilty verdict from a district magistrate court in Pa. My appeal was submitted after the 30 days allowed to appeal. The district attorney is attempting to quash the appeal due to untimely appeal, is there any possible way to fight this appeal?

You are going to have to show good cause as to why you were late in filing your appeal. If you have good cause, you should respond to the motion to quash with the argument that you indeed had good cause for the late filing and request the court to hear your appeal. You should have your attorney respond to the motion. If you need to find an attorney, you can contact the Pennsylvania State Bar Association. So, to answer your question, it is possible to fight the motion to dismiss your appeal by responding with your good cause for filing after the 30 days.

When is it best to file an Erroneous Verdict Complaint or Civil Rights Action or can you file both?

You would want to file an appeal since there is no such thing as an "erroneous verdict complaint". When a person disagrees with a judgment, the first step would be to file an appeal asking the court of appeals to review the case. The appellate court will make a determination as to whether or not there were errors made that would warrant the case being overturned or sent to a lower court for a new hearing.

A civil rights violation is a different type of case. If there was a constitutional right violation other than the verdict, you could file a civil rights action.

A verdict is the decision of a trial. A jury verdict is the result of a vote made by a jury at the end of a trial. While most trials go without issue, there are times that a verdict can be appealed. If you have questions or doubts about a verdict, you should ask an Expert to assist you with your questions.
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