Appealing a decision

Research tells us that Magistrates, Judges and juries usually get it right when it comes to guilt or innocence. But sometimes, Magistrates and Judges make the wrong decision, especially when it comes to sentencing. Fortunately, if you’re unhappy with a decision in the Magistrates Court, District Court or Supreme Court, you can appeal it.

We have over a decade of experience in criminal law appeals, having successfully represented clients appealing against their conviction or sentence. We have connections to the best barristers in Queensland — including King’s Counsel — which means you have the best possible chance of success with us on your side.

Grounds of appeal

After a conviction or sentence has been passed, the most important thing you can do is immediately contact us. There are strict time limits on appeals. You have one calendar month from the date of your conviction or sentence. If you’re late, you need a good reason to convince the court to hear your appeal out of time.

Appeals are started by filing a notice of appeal against sentence, conviction, or both. Magistrates Court appeals are heard in the District Court, and District and Supreme Court appeals go to the Court of Appeal. The District Court or Court of Appeal will then set the matter down, and set out a timetable for material to be filed in support of your appeal.

Appeal bail

If the result of the conviction or sentence means you’re reading this page on behalf of a loved one who is now in jail, we can investigate an urgent hearing of the appeal, or make an application for appeal bail to get them released until their appeal is heard.

In appeals against sentences from the Magistrates Court, we can usually secure appeal bail in the District Court if the sentence is clearly too harsh.

Preparing for the appeal hearing

50% of our job involves reviewing the matter with a fine-tooth comb, assessing the evidence, and preparing a watertight written outline of appeal. This sets out the reasons why your appeal should be allowed. This is obviously the most important part of any appeal, and it usually takes many days to prepare to ensure that every possible legal challenge has been considered. We review the transcript of your matter, carefully review the law and formulate a written outline for the court to consider.

On the day of the appeal the, other 50% of the work occurs. A District Court Judge, or three Court of Appeal Justices, will hear the appeal. We brief a highly regarded barrister to make oral arguments to the court to support our written outline. Their years of experience in appeal work means they can anticipate questions and issues with our appeal, guaranteeing the appeal has the best possible chance of success.

Outcome of the appeal

Following the appeal hearing, the court will either hand their decision down straight away, or go away to think about it (reserve their decision). In the Court of Appeal, reserving a decision is the normal practice. It may take a few months before you know the result of the appeal.

If your appeal is granted, written reasons will be provided to explain why the appeal is granted, and what orders have been made. For an appeal against sentence, the court will tell you what the new sentence is. If the appeal is against your conviction, the court will usually send your matter back to be heard again. Sometimes, if the conviction was so unreasonable that it just didn’t make sense, the court can end proceedings there and find you not guilty.

Why you should use George Criminal Lawyers

We have over a decade of experience in appeals, and have successfully represented clients for appeals against conviction and sentence. We carefully examine every aspect of your matter, review the law and ensure that every possible avenue of appeal is covered.

By using George Criminal Lawyers, you can rest assured that your appeal has the best chance of success. Contact us today to get started.

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