Weighing the Risks of Requesting a New Trial

A motion for a new trial is a common post-conviction motion that asks a reviewing court to overturn a judge’s order or a jury’s verdict, thereby putting the defendant in the position he was in prior to the start of trial.

In Wisconsin, the availability of a new trial is governed by Wis. Stat. §805.15, which provides that an individual may request a new trial where:

  • There were errors in the trial
  • The verdict is contrary to law or to the weight of evidence
  • There were excessive or inadequate damages
  • There is newly-discovered evidence
  • The interests of justice require a new trial

Wis. Stat. §805.15(1). In Colorado, motions for a new trial are governed under Colo. Crim. P. 33. This statute allows an individual to request a new trial where:

  • The interests of justice require a new trial
  • There is newly-discovered evidence

A motion for a new trial based on the interests of justice must be filed within 14 days following the verdict. Colo. Crim. P. 33(c). A motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence must be filed as soon as the new evidence becomes known to the defendant. Colo. Crim. P. 33(c).

Before requesting a new trial, the defendant must consider the potential risks. For example, a defendant could be convicted of the same crimes and receive a greater sentence. Additionally, if there is sufficient evidence to add additional charges before the second trial, the State may do so. Therefore, it is very important to review the potential risks of requesting a new trial before motioning for one.

To speak with a knowledgeable attorney about the possibility of a new trial in your case, contact the Alderman Law Firm today for your free consultation by calling 720-588-3529 (CO) or 608-620-3529 (WI).