I pleaded guilty, can I appeal?

You might be able to appeal against 'conviction' if you pleaded guilty, but only if your plea is 'equivocal'. In this instance, there are two remedies that we can explore with you.

Do I need permission to appeal?

An appeal against conviction from the magistrates' court to the crown court is what is termed 'an appeal as of right', which means that you do not need any permission to appeal. In effect, you are entitled to '2 bites of the cherry' although there are some other issues, such as sentence and costs (see below) that you should consider first.

Is sentence suspended pending an appeal?

Your sentence is not suspended pending appeal, although we can apply for bail if you are in custody, and apply for any driving disqualification to be suspended. If you have been made subject to a community order, this will need to be complied with, although we will take steps to try and expedite the hearing.

What happens at the appeal hearing?

The crown court, presided over by a Judge and Lay Magistrates (not a jury), hears the case afresh. We do however have a valuable opportunity to review what might have gone wrong at the first trial and take steps to remedy any failures. We can also examine what other evidence ought to the gathered on your behalf, or what lines of attack we might usefully deploy against the prosecution case.

If I lose the appeal, what happens?

If that happens, you will be re-sentenced by the crown court, and be liable for prosecution costs. We will discuss the costs implications with you in detail before any decision to appeal is made. It is important to note that the crown court is not restricted to the same sentence imposed by the magistrates' court, so, you may receive a higher penalty. This is one of the risks that you need to balance - and one of the reasons why we will at an early stage examine the other avenues of appeal with you (judicial review and case stated).

Can I get Legal Aid?

Many people are elgible for Legal Aid. We are happy to discuss fixed fee arrangments - the price of high quality represetation is almost certainly much less than you might imagine it to be. If you are successful in your appeal, some of your costs may be refunded. In the first instance contact Rob Barley r-barley@nortonpeskett.co.uk or tel: 01502 533020.





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