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Criminal appeals aren't new trials

When a person doesn't agree with a criminal sentence handed down to them after a conviction, they will sometimes have the right to appeal. This must be based on specific points that are already present in the case.

A criminal appeal is not a new trial. Instead, you are asking a higher court to review the case from the previous court to determine if there are things that were handled unlawfully. As part of your appeal, you must tell the court exactly what points you were looking to dispute. This can be rather difficult especially when you are not familiar with the current areas of law that apply to your case.

There are several levels of appeals that you might be able to go through. In each instance, you go to the court that's immediately higher than the previous one that heard your case. The final court that can hear a case in the United States is the Supreme Court. This court does not hear all cases that comes before it, but instead, will only hear cases that can set a precedent for something that hasn't been covered before.

One important point for defendants to realize is that plea deals are not eligible for appeals. When you sign a plea deal, you will usually waive your right to have an appeal before a higher court. Learning if your case applies for an appeal can be difficult. Be sure that you were looking at your case to determine how you might be able to handle the issues that you feel impacted the outcome.

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