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Do you have a right to appeal a conviction?

After you go through a trial for a criminal act, you may be found guilty. That doesn't have to be the end of your case, though. If the case has been unfair or you believe another court may come to a different conclusion, then you may wish to pursue an appeal. You have a right to appeal any conviction and the sentencing received.

It's common for people to seek appeals if they are convicted in court. What is not normal is if the prosecution tries to have your case retried. In fact, if you are acquitted or found not guilty at trial, the prosecution is unable to appeal that verdict as long as there is no new evidence against you. If a retrial does take place, your attorney can help you by pointing out that it is double jeopardy, which is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution. There are times when a prosecutor can appeal parts of a case, though, like if a judge orders to suppress evidence.

If you have been found guilty of a crime, you can ask an appellate court to review the lower court's ruling. If that ruling does not come back as expected, you can appeal again and seek a federal court's review of your case. To have a federal court review a case, you need to file a writ of habeas corpus. Few individuals have a petition for habeus corpus granted, but yours may be granted if there is conflicting evidence or bias in your case.

If you would like to appeal your case, your attorney can help you file the appropriate documents. You have the right to do so and should exhaust your options to protect your freedoms.

Source: FindLaw, "Appeals, Appellate Courts, and Costs," accessed May 09, 2017

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