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Appeals

The British justice system is widely seen as one of the most reliable in the world. However, it also relies on human judgement which means that sometimes mistakes will be made.

If you believe you have been wrongly convicted or that the sentence you have received is unduly excessive for the offence committed then you can appeal against the court’s decision.

Appeals against convictions or sentences in the magistrates’ court must be made within 21 days of the conviction or sentence. The appeal will then be heard in the Crown Court.

If you wish to appeal against a Crown Court conviction then you must do so within 28 days of the date of your conviction (even if you are sentenced at a later date) or, if you are just appealing against a sentence, within 28 days of the date you were sentenced.

Generally speaking, you can only appeal if a procedure was not followed properly during your trial or, where the appeal is against a conviction only, if new evidence comes to light, such as a key witness who was not called at the original trial.

Appeals against Crown Court verdicts are heard by the Court of Appeal and permission to appeal must first be granted by the Criminal Appeal Office. If permission is refused then you can ask for a ‘full court’ of three judges to rule on whether you should be granted permission.

If permission is granted but your appeal is unsuccessful at the Court of Appeal then you may be able to take your case to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, if it is an exceptional case of general public importance. The Supreme Court cannot grant permission to appeal if this has already been refused by the Court of Appeal, however.

If you are successful in appealing against a conviction then your sentence will no longer apply, which means you are immediately released from any prison sentence. If you win an appeal against your sentence then it will be reduced. You may also be able to recover your legal costs and claim compensation.

Appeals against convictions or sentences are complex, particularly those involving Crown Court decisions, so you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. At Minton Morrill, we have considerable experience of representing clients in the appeals process at every tier of the legal system, from magistrates’ courts through to the Supreme Court, and have successfully argued to have convictions for serious offences overturned.

Our specialist solicitors can investigate your conviction and identify and interview any new witnesses who can help your case. We can also argue for a reduction in your sentence. If you have already appealed and this has been unsuccessful then we can make an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission to have your case referred back to the Court of Appeal.

An appeal is an extremely important legal and potentially life-changing process and must therefore be handled by a legal professional with experience in this area, particularly as the process only gives appellants a limited number of chances to do so. This is where Minton Morrill can help.

To find out how our specialist appeals solicitors in Leeds, Yorkshire and the North of England can help you, please contact us.

 

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