Appellate courts review a trial court case for errors that may have been committed. Appellate courts generally respect the decision of the lower court, and only step in if there was an error that significantly contributed to the outcome of the case. Quite often, errors that are found will be called “harmless.” In those cases, the appellate court will not disturb the lower court case. However, in situations where the error is not considered “harmless” the entire case will be reversed.
While appeals can difficult to win, a reversal can lead to a new trial, new sentencing hearing or even a complete dismissal of the charges!