If you’ve been found guilty of a crime and disagree with the decision of the court, or think that the penalty is too harsh, then you have the option of opposing this decision by appealing to a higher court. At Lawler Magill, we have the skill and experience you need when appealing a sentence and can assist you at all levels of appeal.
Read on to find out more about how appealing a sentence works, and then contact us to appeal your sentence with our expert criminal lawyers on (07) 3236 5656.
How Long Do You Have to Appeal?
There are strict time limits which exist when looking to appeal a criminal conviction or sentence. You have one calendar month in which to lodge your appeal – so if you’re sentenced on the 3rd of May, you have until the 3rd of June to lodge your appeal. If you do not manage to lodge your appeal within this time, then you generally lose the right to make an appeal.
- In some cases, you can lodge an ‘out of time’ appeal – and we can advise you on whether this time limit applies to you
- It can take many months before a court will hear your appeal. If you happen to be in custody while this is taking place, you may be able to seek bail while you await the results of your appeal. Lawler Magill can assist you in making this application for bail
What Can You Appeal?
If you have been found guilty, you can appeal against this. You can also appeal against the harshness of a sentence if you have found that the sentence is unfair given comparable sentences and other situations in which people have been found guilty.
- The state or federal government in criminal matters cannot appeal a verdict of not guilty if it has been found by a jury, but they can seek to appeal a sentence if it’s too lenient given the nature of the offence
Where Will The Appeal Be Heard?
If you have been successful in your application to appeal, you will be heard in the court which is above the one in which you were sentenced.
- If you were sentenced in the Magistrates Court, your appeal will be heard in the District Court by a single judge sitting alone.
- If you were sentenced in the District or Supreme Courts, then you will be appealing to the Court of Appeal where three judges will hear your appeal.
In an appeal, the judges are focusing on whether there was an error during your original trial or hearing that has led to you being sentenced in an inadequate or excessive manner.
Appeals For Civil Cases And Criminal Cases
Anyone may appeal a civil case, but the court may need to grant permission for an appeal to be made. In some cases, a civil matter may be appealed by someone who was a party to the proceedings but who was left out of the decision because they did not take part in the case.
In a civil case, you can seek an appeal, and if the appeal is found to be successful, the court may change your original decision or order that another trial be heard.
The only people who can appeal a criminal matter are people directly involved in the case. A party cannot appeal a not-guilty verdict.
In a criminal case, an appeal is not allowed unless the defendant was found guilty. If someone is found not guilty, this is final. Appeals are only allowed if the sentence is too harsh, or if the conviction is incorrect based on evidence.
Can I Represent Myself In My Appeal?
While you can represent yourself in the Court of Appeal, it’s important to seek legal advice about whether you have the grounds to make an appeal in the first place.
You will not be able to seek legal advice or find out what you need to do to appeal, but they can assist you with procedures and proceedings in court.
As with any criminal matter, it’s far better to seek legal advice from a criminal lawyer like Lawler Magill and know exactly where you stand. For advice with your appeal call us now on (07) 3236 5656.