What does Conviction mean?
A conviction is a ruling made against the alleged criminal after the court has heard the evidence from both the prosecution and the defense. Criminal penalties follow a conviction and generally include fines, prison or other criminal reparations. State laws outline criminal penalties for both misdemeanors and felonies.
In the United States the alleged is considered innocent until proven guilty. The state has the burden to prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by presenting evidence in front of the court. Legal guidelines have been established for the court proceeding, but if the court fails to follow the proper guidelines and the defendant is convicted of a crime, they may appeal the ruling to the appeals court. A conviction may be overturned for a variety of reasons including misconduct, eyewitness misidentification, false confessions, improper jury instructions from the judge and DNA testing which exonerates the accused.