How can I be sure I received a fair trial?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

The right to a fair trial is one of the most important protections extended to people in the United States. Both citizens and visitors from other countries have numerous protections under the Constitution. The Sixth Amendment ensures the right to a fair and speedy trial, and many court cases have affirmed that right.

People have the right to a trial by a jury of their peers, under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, a federal rule is not enough to actually ensure that someone receives a fair trial when facing criminal accusations.

What facts should someone review to determine if their trial was fair and if they have grounds for an appeal?

The actions of their lawyer

Proper representation is crucial to a successful defense. If a lawyer has hidden a conflict of interest, didn’t understand relevant laws and precedent, failed to challenge actions by opposing counsel or otherwise failed to offer a professional standard of representation, that could mean that their trial was unfair.

The jury selected

The right to a fair trial largely hinges on the impartiality of the courts. Not only is it important to recognize when a judge might have a conflict of interest, but it is also key to find jurors capable of hearing a case impartially. The jury selection process is one of the most important aspects of obtaining a fair trial. If there is reason to believe there were biased jurors, that could raise questions about the outcome of the trial.

The evidence used by the state

There are many rules constraining the state regarding what types of evidence prosecutors present. Generally speaking, it is inappropriate for prosecutors to rely on junk science, like 911-call analysis, to build a case against a defendant. A defense that doesn’t question junk science may have led to an unfair conviction. Similarly, if the prosecutor relied on evidence gathered illegally, possibly through a search that violated someone’s rights, that could raise questions about the fairness of a trial.

Defendants recently convicted may need help reviewing a criminal case after the fact if they think an unfair trial may have inspired grounds for an appeal. Ensuring a fair trial typically requires learning about state law, federal protections and the prosecutor’s case. Those who didn’t receive a fair trial may be able to appeal and pursue justice.


RSS Feed

FindLaw Network