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Penal Code 1181 PC | Motion for a New Trial


Penal Code 1181 PC – Motion for a New Trial

What’s up! This article will explain motions for a new trial under California Penal Code 1181 PC. We’ll break it down in simple terms, looking at how they work, grounds for a new trial, process, recent changes, and more. No fancy legal talk here!

What is a Motion for New Trial Under PC 1181?

A motion for new trial allows a defendant to request a do-over trial after being convicted [1]. It is a way to challenge a guilty verdict based on:

  • Jury misconduct
  • Prosecutorial misconduct
  • Judicial errors
  • New evidence

If granted, the conviction is set aside and a whole new trial takes place. This gives another chance at acquittal.

When Can a Motion for New Trial Be Filed?

A PC 1181 motion must be filed after conviction but before sentencing [2]. The timing is critical:

  • File too early – motion denied as premature
  • File too late – right to request new trial waived

So the window to file is very limited. An attorney can ensure proper timing.

What are the Grounds for a New Trial?

Grounds for a new trial under PC 1181 include [3]:

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  • Jury misconduct – Juror misconduct like improperly viewing evidence outside of court.
  • Prosecutorial misconduct – Such as failing to disclose exculpatory evidence.
  • Judicial error – For example, giving incorrect jury instructions.
  • New evidence – Like DNA evidence proving innocence.
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel – Such as a lawyer not objecting to inadmissible evidence.

The misconduct or error must have impaired the right to a fair trial.

What is the Process for Filing a Motion for New Trial?

The process involves [4]:

  1. Filing a written motion stating the grounds for a new trial
  2. Prosecution files an opposition brief disputing the claims
  3. Oral arguments at a motion hearing
  4. Judge decides whether to grant or deny a new trial

An attorney handles filing the motion, arguing at the hearing, and appealing a denial.

What Happens if a New Trial is Granted?

If a new trial is granted [5]:

  • The conviction is set aside as if it never occurred
  • A new trial starts over from the beginning
  • The case proceeds like any other criminal trial
  • The defendant has another chance at acquittal

However, the prosecution cannot engage in misconduct again or correct errors that led to the new trial being granted.

Recent Changes to California’s New Trial Laws

Some recent changes affecting new trial motions include [6]:

  • Limits on jury misconduct claims in 2020
  • Changes to make it easier to introduce new evidence post-conviction in 2018

An attorney can advise you on the latest new trial laws and procedures.

Chances of Success on a Motion for New Trial

While possible, new trials are not commonly granted. Courts view them as a drastic remedy. Keys to improving your chances include:

  • Meeting strict filing deadlines
  • Strong evidence of misconduct or legal errors
  • A persuasive motion drafted by an attorney

Even if denied, the motion can help lay the groundwork for an appeal.

Recent New Trial Case Examples

Here are some examples of PC 1181 new trial cases:

  • People v. Clark – Clark’s motion was granted due to juror misconduct involving outside research into the case.
  • People v. Miller – Miller’s motion was denied since the new DNA evidence would not have changed the verdict.

Get Legal Help With New Trial Motions

Never try filing a complex new trial motion alone. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can handle the entire process and maximize your chances of success. Don’t leave your fate to chance – get skilled legal help fighting your conviction.


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