Appeals and the Higher Courts
If a case is not resolved in your favour, it may be appropriate to consider an appeal.
It’s a complex process, and strict time limits apply, so it’s a good idea to get specific legal advice and representation.
Appeals from the Magistrates Court
Appeals against conviction or sentence by magistrates are made to the Crown Court. If you are appealing against your conviction, there will be an entirely new hearing of all the evidence previously heard.
Notice of Appeal setting out the grounds for appeal should be served within 21 days from the conviction or the sentence being appealed against. We can help you prepare and serve that notice, but you should note that legal aid does not automatically cover the cost of an appeal. You should also note that by serving an appeal, you may be exposing yourself to the risk of an increased costs order or possibly spending a longer time in prison in the event that your appeal fails, and is considered to be without merit.
Appeals from the Crown Court
If your case was heard in the Crown Court, it may be possible to appeal any conviction to the Court of Appeal.. Your advocate will first need to be satisfied that the Judge misdirected the jury, there was some other error in law, or there were inconsistent verdicts. These are the main grounds but there are others.
You may be able to appeal a sentence decision of the Crown Court to the Court of Appeal if your advocate believes that it was wrong in law or was manifestly excessive.
Strict time limits apply. Notice needs to be served within 28 days of conviction or sentence depending upon the decision being appealed against. If you were to miss that deadline, you would need the permission of the Court of Appeal before being able to begin your appeal.
Appeals from the Court of Appeal
Very rarely, it may be possible to appeal a Court of Appeal decision to the Supreme Court. This is only where the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court allows you to do so, agreeing that your case involves a point of law of public importance. Again, there are strict time limits but we will advise you of these and of the process in greater detail if an appeal is appropriate.