Healey Colbon
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Healey Colbon

Appeals

We need to cover two types of appeal here, an appeal from a decision of the magistrates court which would normally proceed to the Crown Court and an appeal from a decision of the Crown Court which is only possible in normal circumstances with leave to the Court of Appeal.

Appeal from the magistrates court
Everyone has the right to appeal against the decision of a magistrates court. However, the notice of appeal has usually to be lodged with the court within 21 days of sentence being passed. The Crown court hearing then takes place as a rehearing in front of a judge sitting with magistrates. If we have represented you at the magistrates’court hearings then we will advise you as a matter of course both in person and in writing about the possibility of appeal and the risks and pitfalls involved. If we did not represent you at the magistrates’ court then it is important that you approach us for advice as soon as possible bearing in mind the time limits mentioned above and with all the papers in the case so that we can advise effectively. Legal Aid is likely to be available for appeal.

Appeal from a Crown Court
This is likely to be much more difficult. There is no right to appeal and an appeal lies only with leave from the court. If we have represented you at Crown Court the firm will ensure that your advocate advises on the possibility of appeal. An appeal against conviction would have to be on the basis that the conviction is unsafe. An appeal against sentence has to show that the sentence passed was manifestly excessive or wrong in principle. It is only where your advocate advises that there are grounds for that appeal that we can go forward.

If there are grounds for appeal your case will then go before a single judge to decide whether leave should be granted. If leave is granted then the case will go before the full Court for a decision. If leave is not granted you are still entitled to ask the full court for leave. However, there are risks involved in that and you could be ordered to restart your sentence if unsuccessful. We would of course advise you very specifically in those circumstances.

If we did not act for you at the Crown Court it is unlikely that we will be able to advise in any specific way on the question of appeal. However, if you did wish to discuss the matter with us then we would need sight of the prosecution papers and counsel’s advice on appeal before we could give any preliminary view