What is a Retrial?
A retrial or new trial is the repetition of a court case or trial which has already taken place. This usually happens with cases in which the verdict of the first trial was “guilty” or if there was no verdict declared. A retrial of a defendant acquitted of a crime is generally disallowed. The other reasons for which there could be a retrial, based on the rules of jurisdiction, are as follows:
- A jury which is unable to reach a conclusive verdict or a hung jury.
- A legal mistake or defect in the original trial.
- An appellate court reverses or disqualifies the previous judgment and requires the case be tried again.
What is the difference between appeal and retrial?
A retrial implies the evidence and the case will be presented again in the court. It is a completely new trial. An appeal involves a procedure to check whether the trial court has made any error. The higher court, in which the appeal is made, will re-examine the same evidence to rule out any errors or oversight of law. There is no new evidence that is presented in court.
Is a retrial an option after an Arizona Superior Court has passed judgement?
As per Arizona statute you are allowed to file a motion for a new trial or retrial in the following scenarios:
- Error in the proceedings which is detrimental.
- Detrimental error caused by the other party.
- A decision which is not compliant with the law or a mistake in law.
- New evidence discovery which could not have surfaced previously despite adequate diligence.
- Pardonable excuse or mistake.
If the motion for a new trial is granted, another jury will be summoned within five days to judge the issue. This timeframe can vary if the concerned parties are agreeable. However, the timeframe to file is limited so inform your lawyer as soon as possible.
Can a retrial be granted if a jury member was a friend of the plaintiff’s colleague?
Your lawyer should review the records for any errors or determine if they have occurred or not. The jury is usually questioned before their duty begins. If the juror who is friends with the plaintiff’s colleague has not disclosed this fact or lied about it, this is sufficient grounds for an appeal and retrial. Your lawyer would then file for an appeal on your behalf and the appeals court could grant a retrial.
Is there a way to guarantee a retrial once a motion to rehear is made?
A motion to rehear is a chance to bring to the forefront any errors committed by the court or failure to consider all evidence that was pertinent to the case. Due to this fact, the court would allow for the case to be heard or presented again. However, this does not guarantee a retrial. In most cases, the court feels that all the evidence has been presented and all information and facts have been heard. A retrial would, therefore be an unnecessary waste of time and resources. This is the reason most lawyers move to the court of appeals with a list of errors, if any, made by the lower court rather than filing a motion for a new trial.
Will a ‘not guilty’ verdict cause a retrial?
No, you cannot be tried twice for the crime for which you have been declared innocent and been acquitted. This is referred to as double jeopardy. What could lead to a retrial would be if new evidence is discovered implying new charges against you.
How should one move forward if they are dissatisfied with the verdict in a civil matter?
Generally, civil matters such as contract and property disputes, in which the contested value is higher than $7500, are tried in the superior court. If either party wants to appeal the decision of the superior court, they need to approach the court of appeals. The court of appeals is the intermediate level court which is second in line between the trial and Supreme Court.
A retrial is a new trial in itself. If granted, it is a second chance to present evidence old and new in order to seek justice. Therefore, in order to be granted a retrial, the court needs to be convinced it is necessary for significant and valid reasons. To understand whether you can file, Experts can help you understand your options as well as the different courses of action.