Many people believe that the Alabama appellate court process provides them with an opportunity to present new or different evidence that they did not present at trial. However, Alabama appellate courts will not consider new evidence when ruling on an appeal. Appeals are based solely on whether the trial court’s ruling was erroneous based on the evidence that was presented in court (including, of course, whether the trial court improperly excluded evidence it should have considered). You do not get to present new evidence in an appeal. The appellate court’s ruling will be based solely on the existing transcript and court record at the time of filing the appeal.
That said, sometimes the appellate court process will ultimately provide an opportunity to present new evidence. If the appellate court decides that a trial court improperly excluded evidence it should have considered, it will remand the case back to the trial court for a new trial or a new hearing. In that scenario, a person may get to present new evidence, but it is presented to the trial court rather than the appellate court.
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