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Appeals

If you appear at court and you’re convicted, you have the right to appeal your sentence if you don’t agree with it. These are some of the things you should know:

How do I appeal a Magistrates’ Court sentence?

If you pleaded not guilty, you can appeal against your conviction, sentence or both. If you pleaded guilty, you can only appeal against your sentence. If you don’t appeal within 21 days of the date of your sentence, you’ll have to seek permission from Crown Court to appeal. The Magistrates’ Court where you had your trial, or your solicitor, will advise how you do this.

How do I appeal a Crown Court sentence?

If you pleaded guilty you can appeal your sentence. You may also be able to appeal your conviction too, although that’s a little more complicated, but we can advise you about this. If you pleaded not guilty you can appeal both your sentence and your conviction. You have to apply for your appeal for a conviction no later than 28 days after the date of your conviction (even if you’re not sentenced until a later date). 

If you’re appealing your sentence, the 28 day restriction applies from the date of your sentence. Usually, you can only appeal if the correct procedure wasn’t followed properly during your trial or if new evidence comes to light. 

Before you make any appeal you should seek legal advice. We have specialist knowledge on appeals from the Crown Court and can advise you on the prospect of your appeal being successful as well as how to lodge your appeal. We have a high success rate in challenging erroneous sentences in the Court of Appeal, having overturned such things as Imprisonment for Public Protection.

What happens if my appeal is successful?

Your sentence will no longer apply if your conviction is overturned. If you win your appeal against your sentence, it will be reduced. In terms of legal costs, the court may decide that you can have some of your legal costs, such as solicitors fees, returned.

What happens if I don’t get permission to appeal?

You’ll get a letter giving reasons why your appeal hasn’t been granted. It will also explain how to go about applying for a ‘full court’ of two or three judges to review your appeal. If you’re not granted permission to appeal by the full court, you can apply to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. In Crown Court cases, if you lose your appeal you won’t be able to apply again unless the Criminal Cases Review Commission refers your case back to the court of appeal.

Can I stop my appeal?

You can stop your appeal at any time by filling in a form known as a ‘notice of abandonment of proceedings with guidance’. Our solicitor can advise you on this.

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