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Can I Appeal a Misdemeanor Conviction in Virginia?

Yes. As a matter of right, any misdemeanor conviction in the general district court is appealable de novo. A de novo appeal means that the case starts over as a brand new case in the circuit court. General district court may or may not have a record, meaning there will not necessarily be a court reporter unless the defendant supplies one. That is something to keep in mind, that if you do decide to have a trial in a general district court, the attorney should discuss with you whether or not you want to have court reporter present to create a record for future court dates in circuit court if necessary. Often times as part of the plea agreement in general district court, the defendant will waive that right, meaning that they give up the right to the appeal. When making that decision, you would want to be conscious of what you are giving up. If you waive the appeal, you give up the ability to give the case to circuit court.

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