Our criminal justice system is not perfect and our courts do not always get it right. There are countless cases of miscarriages of justice involving defendants who have been wrongly convicted or who have been given a sentence which is too harsh.

However, the process of appealing a conviction or sentence can be frustrating and stressful. It is also very likely to be lengthy.

Generally, appeals against conviction or sentence have to be lodged within 28 days of the date of conviction or sentence in the Crown Court. The time limit is 21 days in the Magistrates’ Court. Although this time limit can be extended, there is no automatic right to appeal out of this time. The appellant (the person making the appeal), will need to explain the reasons for any delay and why the original decision was wrong or unfair. A good example would be a case where important evidence has come to light which was not previously available.

Appeal cases are often challenging and time-consuming. Demonstrating that a client has a good reason to appeal will often require painstaking analysis of the case papers to understand what took place at the trial (or sentencing hearing) and meticulous preparation of the appeal case. They also require an in-depth understanding of the law and legal practice and procedure. In some cases, it will be necessary to obtain expert evidence, particularly if this was not obtained in the original case or if the defence expert’s report was flawed.

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How we can help your criminal appeal

We have over 30 years’ experience of serious criminal defence work including numerous successful appeals cases.

Whether you want a second opinion or require advice and representation in connection with an appeal, contact us on a no-obligation basis for a preliminary discussion and for some guidance on the process involved.

Funding your appeal case

In our experience, obtaining legal aid to fund an appeal case is exceptionally difficult. Due to the high level of expertise required and the time often involved considering the case papers, we have decided that we will only deal with appeal cases on a private paying basis.

We will always discuss with you how much the appeal is likely to cost and whenever possible, we will agree to fix costs for each stage of the appeal. To begin with, this may include agreeing a fee with you to look at your case to provide a preliminary opinion on the merits of an appeal.

A selection of our appeal and CCRC cases

R v B

A G’s Reference that sentence was too lenient. M B had been found in possession of 13 kilos of Heroin. Pleaded guilty. Received a sentence of under 4 years. Further, nominal Order made under POCA. Successfully defended sentence and POCA Order.

R v B

Was convicted of wounding a man who had been chased into his own house and stabbed. The injured party had been wrongly identified by the assailant.

NOTE: We successfully applied to the CCRC and the conviction was quashed by the court of appeal.

R v A

Importation of cocaine into the UK. Allegations were made that intercept material allegedly from Columbia had in fact been obtained elsewhere. Substantial issues regarding lack of disclosure resulted in the conviction being quashed.

NOTE: In relation to both these cases, Special Counsel were instructed to oversee the disclosure matters and to review public interest immunity hearings.

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For more information on our criminal defence services, or to arrange a confidential, no obligation, telephone call with one of our lawyers, please contact us.

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