Can I Appeal my Criminal Conviction?
Regardless of whether you were convicted following a trial or whether you pleaded guilty to the offences, you are still entitled to appeal providing that you have a good reason to do so. In order to determine whether this reason may exist, there are a few simple points that you should consider:
1) You cannot appeal if the any of following examples apply:
• You didn’t agree with the Jury’s decision.
• You didn’t like the Judge’s Comments or Summing Up.
• You were nervous and you would like to give your evidence again.
• You didn’t like the way your defence case was presented.
2) You may have Grounds to Appeal if the any of following examples apply:
• Your legal team did not follow your instructions.
• New and strong evidence has since come to light that was not previously available.
• Your defence case was not prepared properly.
• You believe that the prosecution’s case against you was wrong according to the law.
• You have strong reasons for believing that your legal team did not act in your best interests.
Can I Appeal my Sentence?
When sentencing, a Judge is generally guided by the sentencing guidelines set out in law, along with precedents (previous sentences handed out in similar cases). However, he/she will also be influenced by a number of other factors which are specific to each individual case. These include:
A) Whether or not you pleaded guilty or you were convicted after a Trial.
B) If you pleaded guilty, at what stage you entered that plea. (At an early stage such as a Plea and Directions Hearing or at a later stage such as the first day of your trial).
C) The content of a Pre-Sentence Report by the Probation Service
D) Your antecedents (Criminal History), especially if the convictions were for the same type of offence.
Because most sentences are handed out after the above have been considered, there is no simple method of deciding whether or not you have Grounds to Appeal your sentence, and it will require an examination of the circumstances of your case in order to know this.