Although rare, miscarriages of justice do occur. Not every case is appealable, but where the possibility exists, we can provide extensive experience in the very complex area of appealing a criminal conviction and/or sentence. Whether we acted for you in your original matter, or you were represented by another firm, you can call upon us to pursue your appeal.
Our team of criminal experts will need to obtain documents regarding your case in order to investigate your conviction and sentence. We will consider all evidence in your case and instruct leading experts. We have strong relationships with leading barrister’s chambers in the UK from which an experienced barrister (referred to as Counsel) will be instructed.
How does the Appeals process work?
Following a criminal conviction in the Crown Court, your defence team will provide you with advice as to whether or not arguable grounds of appeal can be put forward. If the advice is positive and there are grounds of an appeal against either the conviction, sentence or both, your barrister will prepare such advice in writing together with the grounds itself. If there are no grounds for an appeal than usually the advice will be verbal.
Once the grounds are fully prepared our criminal team will submit all paperwork to the Crown Court which dealt with your matter. The Crown Court will then transfer the application to the Criminal Court of Appeal in London.
What are the time limits to submit an Appeal?
Your appeal has to be submitted to Crown Court within 28 days after the date of conviction or sentence. There are however exceptions to this, where our criminal team will make a request for the Court to allow an appeal which is ‘out of time’. It is important to note that such application must be justified and the full reasons for Leave to Appeal out of Time must be advanced.
What will happen once Appeal documents are lodged with the court?
The application for ‘leave to appeal’ either the conviction and/or sentence will be considered by a single appeal judge. The judge will decide whether or not the application has a reasonable chance of succeeding. The judge will then provide reason for the decision in writing.
If an application for ‘leave to appeal’ is granted you will be notified of the appeal hearing date in writing. During the appeal hearing your case will be heard in full. The court will make a decision whether the application will be granted or refused.
What might be the possible outcome of an Appeal?
If your appeal is granted your conviction may be overturned, the court might order a re-trial or your sentence may be reduced.
If however, you lose the appeal the original sentence or conviction will not change but you might be ordered:
- that the time spent awaiting the appeal process will not count towards your sentence, which means that you will have to restart your sentence;
- to pay the court costs.
Given the procedural rules and risks involved, it is important to seek expert advice as early as possible to ensure you are given the best advice from the outset and if the advice is positive, the appeal is prepared by experienced Criminal Appeals lawyers.