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Appeals

If you aren’t happy with a decision and need to appeal, you’ve come to the right place. We are experienced and successful appeal lawyers.

Appealing a decision

The general consensus is that Magistrates, Judges and juries usually get it right. But sometimes they don’t — and your future can depend on the result. Fortunately, if you’re unhappy with a decision in the Magistrates Court, District Court or Supreme Court, you can appeal it.

How to appeal

The most important thing you can do is to immediately contact us after your sentence or conviction. 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.

Preparing for the appeal and the appeal hearing

50% of our job involves preparing a watertight written outline of appeal. This sets out the reasons why your appeal should be allowed. This is obviously a very important document, and it usually takes many days to prepare to ensure it is all correct. To do this, 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 make oral arguments to the court to support our written outline, and answer any questions the Court may direct at us.

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 use a specialist criminal law firm?

We have a decade of specialist 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 place your trust in us that your appeal has the best chance of success.