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Appealing a Magistrates’ Court decision
Criminal defence solicitors Birmingham
Appeals from the Magistrates’ Court
If you have been convicted in the Magistrates Court and you are unhappy with the conviction or if you have pleaded guilty to an offence in the Magistrates Court and consider the sentence to be unfair or harsh wrong we can help. If you have pleaded guilty you cannot appeal against conviction.
Magistrates’ Courts play a crucial role in the English legal system, handling the majority of criminal cases. However, there will be occasions when the conviction is incorrect or the sentence is wrong for example. In such cases you can make an appeal as of right to the Crown Court. What that means is that you do not need permission from either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court in order to make an appeal.
If the Magistrates’ Court has made a mistake and misunderstood and therefore misapplied the law a different procedure is available to challenge that; it is known as stating a case ( for the High Court’s consideration) or case stated.
As expert criminal appeals solicitors, we can represent you in making your appeal to the Crown Court.
We only take on privately paid appeals work.
What can be appealed?
There are three main types of appeals that can be made against a decision from a Magistrates’ Court.
Appeal against conviction
This type of appeal is made when the defendant believes they have been wrongly convicted of an offence.
Appeal against sentence
This type of appeal is made when the defendant believes the sentence they received is too harsh or unjust.
Appeal against a ruling on a point of law or also known as the case stated procedure
This type of appeal is made when either party believes the Magistrates’ Court has made an incorrect ruling on a point of law during the proceedings. This appeal is dealt with by the High Court and not the Crown Court.
What is the deadline within which the appeal must be made?
An appeal against conviction or sentence must be made within 15 working days (or 21 calendar days) from the date of the sentence. It is not possible to appeal the decision before the sentencing hearing has taken place and sentence imposed. For an appeal against a ruling on a point of law, the time limit is 21 days from the date of the ruling.
Legal representation for Appealing a Magistrates’ Court decision
We are expert criminal appeals solicitors. If you ask us to represent you, we will step in immediately to secure an acquittal on appeal or a reduction in sentence. We have the expertise to represent you and your business in appealing a Magistrates’ Court’s decision.
We will prepare and file the appeal notice which must be submitted in writing to the Magistrates’ Court that made the decision. We will ensure that clearly outlines the grounds for appeal and provides all of the information that the Crown Court will require to allow your appeal to progress to a hearing. We will obtain new or additional evidence to support your appeal and ensure that it is submitted as part of the appeal. It will essential to ensure that all relevant information is provided to strengthen your case and we will ensure that that happens. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will review the appeal and may resist the appeal or may agree to concede the appeal.
The appeal is heard in the Crown Court by a Crown Court judge and two lay magistrates. The appeal is by way of a rehearing. We will ensure that you are represented by a top criminal appeals barrister who will conduct the appeal hearing in the Crown Court to maximise your chances of securing a not guilty verdict on appeal.
What will the Crown Court do after it has heard the appeal?
The Crown Court may:
- Find you not guilty, therefore allowing the appeal
- Find you guilty, therefore dismissing the appeal
- Alter the sentence, if the appeal is against a sentence
- If you are unsuccessful the Court may order you to pay some or all of the prosecution’s costs
Contact our criminal appeals solicitors
If you wish to appeal your conviction or sentence from the Magistrates’ Court, we can help and ensure that you have the representation that you need. We can only take on these cases on a private paying basis.