Receiving a guilty verdict need not be the end of the road if you are sentenced in a lower court. You may request that a higher court review and change the decision of a lower court by filing an appeal. Appealing a conviction involves a different set of rules which are best handled by a criminal defence lawyer. Sydney law firms offer full criminal defence services including appeals to higher courts.
Time for filing appeal
Court rules strictly require that you file your notice of appeal within a short period, not more than fourteen days if appealing in the Magistrates court and not more than twenty one days if appealing to a superior court, from the time of sentencing or conviction. Timeliness of filing your notice of appeal is crucial as it can be denied for being filed out of time. This notice of appeal is different from the appellate brief that your criminal defence lawyer will prepare in your behalf.
Questions of law
Appellate courts entertain only those appeals that raise questions of law or legal principles in the lower court’s verdict. In an appeal, the higher court does not conduct a re-hearing of the facts of the case but will focus on legal issues raised in the appeal brief. As this involves arguing legal principles, anyone seeking to appeal his case should immediately consult a criminal appellate lawyer for assistance in the appeal.
Types of appeals
Appeals against conviction You can appeal a conviction to a higher court on the basis of the transcript of the proceedings that took place in the lower court. The appellate court generally does not entertain questions arising from facts tried or heard in the lower court unless you can prove exceptional circumstances exist to justify a re-hearing. After hearing your legal arguments, the appeal court may substitute the judgment of conviction with an acquittal or return the case to the lower court for further hearing.
Appeals against sentence You can also appeal a sentence of conviction to a higher court by citing grounds such as that the lower court committed a mistake in imposing a penalty that is obviously outside the range of penalties prescribed for the offence or that the judge failed to consider some factor which could have entitled you to a lower penalty. As penalties for offences are fixed by law, a criminal lawyer is the best person to assist you in arguing your appeal against a sentence.
Appeals are a different ball game in criminal trial practice requiring the expertise of a seasoned criminal defence lawyer Sydney based. The top law firms offer the best defence teams to ensure that you are not convicted for a crime that you are innocent of or that you are not punished beyond the limits set by law.