HOW DO I APPEAL?
WHICH COURT SHOULD I APPEAL TO?
You need to make sure that you should be appealing to the Court of Appeal and not to another court.
Appealing against conviction You can only appeal against conviction to the Court of
Appeal if you were convicted at the Crown Court.
If you were convicted in the
Magistrates’ Court, you need to appeal to the Crown Court (or possibly to the
Administrative Court) and you should speak to the Magistrates’ Court for advice on how to appeal Appealing against sentence If you were sentenced at the Crown Court, you can appeal against your sentence to the Court of Appeal (even if you were convicted in the
Appeal against a confiscation order If the confiscation order was imposed by the Crown
Court, you can appeal against it to the Court of Appeal (even if you were convicted in the
HOW CAN I GET LEGAL ADVICE ABOUT MAKING AN APPEAL?
If you had a solicitor or barrister representing you at court through public funding (i.e. under a Representation Order) they must give you advice (in writing if you request it) about whether or not there are good grounds for an appeal against conviction and/or sentence.
A copy of this advice should be sent to you immediately. If they think there are good grounds, they will fill in the form (see part C below) for you and send it to the Crown Court.
The Representation Order will usually cover your solicitors and barrister providing advice and assistance up to the stage when your application is received back from a judge with a decision on whether you should have permission to appeal and, if refused, whether you should renew that application (see 3D and 3E below).
If you have already had advice from your barrister or solicitor saying there are no grounds for appeal, you don’t have the right to public funding to get further advice from a different barrister or solicitor. However, in some, rare circumstances it may be possible for new legal representatives to be given public funding from the Legal Aid Agency to give you advice. The Legal Aid Agency website is at www.legalservices.gov.uk. Community Legal Advice is the LSC helpline offering free, confidential and independent legal advice. Their number is 0845 345 4345. If you are not in custody you could also speak to the Citizens’ Advice
You can pay privately to get advice from another firm of solicitors or another barrister.
If you do not want legal advice or your representatives have told you there are no grounds of appeal but you still want to appeal you can fill in form NG (see next section) yourself and send it to the Crown Court where you were convicted or sentenced.
WHAT FORMS DO I NEED TO USE?
Forms to use when starting your appeal
An appeal is made by filling in a Form NG, giving the reasons why you think the conviction is unsafe or the sentence is too long considering the offence and the circumstances or wrong in principle. These reasons are known as the grounds of appeal. It is not a proper ground of appeal just to say that a sentence is too long or a conviction is unsafe - you must explain the reasons why you think the sentence is wrong or the conviction is unsafe.
Once you have completed the Form NG and included your grounds of appeal, it should be sent to the Crown Court where you were convicted or sentenced. The Crown Court will then copy all the documents used at the trial and send them, with Form NG, to the
Criminal Appeal Office, which provides administrative support to the Court of Appeal.
Contact details for the Criminal Appeal Office are given at paragraph D below.
If you wish to apply for legal aid for a barrister or solicitor advocate to represent you at the appeal hearing if the judge gives you permission to appeal, you should tick the relevant box on Form NG. There is no need to supply any further information at this stage.
If you want to ask for bail whilst your appeal papers are being processed,