What are the possible outcomes of an appeal?

The appeal is not simply another trial before a new judge. It is a legal argument presented to a panel of appellate judges on issues of law. Therefore, the appellate court won’t issue a “guilty” or “not guilty” verdict or find for one party over the other. The appellate court will do one of the following:

  • Affirm the decision of the trial court, in which case the verdict at trial stands.
  • Reverse the decision to the trial court, in which case a new trial may be ordered.
  • Remand the case to the trial court. This often happens when the court has determined a new standard under the law and the trial court either needs to retry the case or re-hold a sentencing hearing.