Filing a Motion for New Trial Georgia: Key Steps and Insights from Conklin Law

Uncover the essential steps for filing a motion for a new trial in Georgia. Conklin Law breaks down the process, legal requirements, and strategic considerations. Book an appointment with us now.

Filing a Motion for New Trial in Georgia

A motion for a new trial allows a defendant in a criminal case or both parties in a civil case to request a retrial of their case based on valid grounds. It is an opportunity to present new evidence, rectify significant errors of fact or law, or remedy misconduct during the trial.

If you received an adverse decision in a civil or criminal case, you may want to consider filing a motion for a new trial. However, you need to act fast because you only have 30 days after the judgment is entered to file this motion.

Conklin Law has extensive knowledge and experience in Georgia appeals and has consistently obtained favorable outcomes from the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Georgia. Your motion for a new trial is the first step in your appeal process, and we are here to help you make the most of it.

Don’t hesitate to contact Tyler Conklin from Conklin Law for personalized legal guidance and representation.

What Is a Motion for a New Trial?

A motion for a new trial is a request to the trial court judge to grant a new trial and set aside the initial judgment or verdict. When a party files a motion for a new trial, it argues that legal or factual errors, misconduct, or other injustices occurred during the initial trial that warrant a new trial.

According to OCGA §5-5-40, a motion for a new trial must be filed within 30 days from the judgment entry date. The law also specifies the format, content, and filing guidelines for the motion. It is crucial to strictly follow these guidelines and file within the specified time.

Consulting an appellate lawyer with experience handling these motions will increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

Grounds for a Motion for a New Trial in Georgia

Article 2, Chapter 5, Title 5 of the Georgia Code discusses the possible grounds for filing a motion for a new trial in Georgia. These include:

  • Newly discovered evidence that was not available during the initial trial

  • Legal errors made during the trial or pre-trial proceedings

  • The judgment contradicts the evidence presented

  • Insufficiency of the evidence

Other grounds, such as ineffective assistance of counsel and prosecutorial or jury misconduct, may be valid grounds for the motion in a criminal case. The trial judge maintains discretion to grant or deny your motion.


Potential Risks of Filing a Motion for a New Trial

While filing a motion for a new trial is a great option to challenge an adverse decision and introduce new evidence, it is crucial to consider the risks associated with it. A granted motion for a new trial doesn’t guarantee positive results, and you would have to go through the litigation process all over again and pay all costs.

It is crucial to weigh risks against benefits before filing a motion for a new trial. Our experienced appeals attorney at Conklin Law can help you make an informed decision.

Process for Filing a Motion for a New Trial

Georgia civil and criminal law, as well as local court rules, dictate the guidelines, requirements, and timeline for filing motions for a new trial. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the filing process:

  1. Draft the Motion

Your attorney assesses your case and identifies valid grounds for your motion. They draft a formal motion for a new trial stating the grounds for the motion and provide supporting evidence and legal arguments.

  1. File the Motion

The motion must be filed with the initial trial court within the specified time. Ensure you follow the court’s filing guidelines and pay the required fees, if applicable.

  1. Serve the Other Party

Serve the other party or their attorney with a copy of the motion following the Georgia rules for service. The purpose of serving the opponent is to notify them of the motion and allow them to respond.

  1. The Opposing Party Responds

If the opposing party wants to respond to your motion, they may do so. The opponent’s response is usually an argument against the validity of your motion’s grounds.

  1. The Court Schedules a Motion Hearing

The court will eventually schedule a hearing to consider the motion if the filing requirements are satisfied. At the hearing, the trial judge will allow the involved parties to present their arguments and evidence.

  1. The Court Issues a Decision

The trial court reviews the arguments and evidence presented and then decides whether to grant or deny the motion for a new trial. The written order should include the rationale for the court’s decision.

  1. Appeal

If the court denies the motion, you can appeal the decision to a higher court. Our attorney at Conklin Law has uniquely extensive experience in appeals and can help you file your appeal with the appropriate appellate court.

The Time Limit for Filing

According to OCGA §5-5-40, all motions for a new trial must be filed within 30 days of the jury verdict or final judgment. A party may be allowed to file an extraordinary motion after the 30-day period expires if new evidence, such as DNA, is discovered.

Documents for Filing a Motion for a New Trial

Here are the documents and other supporting materials that may be required when filing a motion for a new trial:

  1. Motion for a new trial outlining the grounds for the request. It should include the following information:
    • The name of the court, case number, and parties’ names
    • A brief introductory statement on the motion’s purpose
    • An explanation of the legal or factual grounds for the new trial, such as errors of law or new evidence.
    • An explicit request for the court to grant a new trial
  2. Affidavits from witnesses or professionals supporting your grounds for a new trial
  3. A legal memorandum providing an in-depth summary of relevant laws
  4. Exhibits, including any physical or documentary evidence
  5. Certificate of service
  6. Proof of service showing that you served the opposing party with the motion

Conklin Law Can Help You

Winning a motion for a new trial is not easy; you need the help of a skilled and highly knowledgeable attorney. Our appeals attorney at Conklin Law can guide you through the Georgia appeal process and post-trial motions.

From identifying valid grounds and solid legal arguments to arguing your case in the motion hearing, we are here to assist you through the entire process. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!

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