If you are considering an appeal contact a criminal lawyer immediately. Don’t wait to appeal a legal decision. Understand all your options. Call a criminal lawyer now.
Criminal Law Topics
This site is built for criminal lawyers only,
not those who dabble in criminal law. If you are a lawyer,
and at least 80% of your practice is devoted to criminal law,
learn more about joining our tribe by clicking the link below.
If You Are Considering an Appeal, Contact a Criminal Lawyer Immediately
How Are Appeals Decided?
Affirm the sentence and dismiss the appeal
Change the lower court’s sentence
Remand the case back to the lower court to redo the trial
Decide that the lower court didn’t adhere to the law and should change the outcome
In Canada, there are two primary types of appeals. A conviction appeal asks the appellate court to examine the finding of guilt, and a sentence appeal asks the appellate court to reevaluate the sentence. Thus, an appeal is not simply a new trial but a review of the evidence to determine whether all procedures were followed.
Appeals are not automatic, and not everything can be appealed. This is where an experienced criminal appeals attorney can assist you in ensuring that you received a fair trial and were sentenced appropriately.
How Are Appeals Decided?
Whether a higher court will permit an appeal is based on a review of the record—or transcript—from the lower court. The judge examines the existing evidence and ensures that all procedures were followed. The appellate court may also consider new evidence that wasn’t available at the time of the original trial; however, this evidence must be credible.
While judges have considerable discretion in sentencing, they must always adhere to the criminal law and all applicable codes.
While the general rule is that appellate courts defer to the lower court’s decision, simply requesting an appeal because you think the decision was wrong is not adequate legal grounds for an appeal to be granted.
Factors that may warrant a conviction appeal include legal errors, errors in admitting evidence, errors in jury instructions, unreasonable verdict, misunderstanding of evidence, and inadequate reasoning in reaching a decision by the lower court. Reasons that may warrant a sentencing appeal include a lack of proportionality in handing down the sentence.
What does the appeal lawyer do?
The appellate attorney serves to:
File the notice of appeal
Order trial transcripts
Review your case
Provide a written argument for the appeal
Appear in court on your behalf to argue your case
As such, appeals can be more time consuming and expensive than the trial itself.
A criminal appellate attorney may also appeal an appellate court decision to the Supreme Court of Canada if the first appeal failed to adhere to the law or committed some other egregious error.
Because there are strict deadlines and requirements for filing appeals, seeking an appeal is not something you want to try by yourself.
We Can Help
Appeals are very complicated, and even though you may think your conviction or sentence is wrong, without proper and adequate legal grounds, the appeal will be rejected. A good criminal appellate lawyer has a thorough understanding of criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law, trial procedure, the laws of evidence, and all special appellate rules. Our attorneys have considerable experience in appealing verdicts and sentences and understand the various nuances involved in obtaining a successful appeal.