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Appeal Against Magistrates Court: A Handy Q&A

appeal against magistrates court


How To Appeal Against Magistrates Court Decision


Q: Do I have the right to appeal against magistrates court decision?


A: If you pleaded not guilty to a criminal charge, and you were unsuccessful at trial, you have the right to appeal against conviction, sentence or both.


Q: What if I pleaded guilty but am unhappy with the outcome?


A: You can appeal against your sentence, but not your conviction.


Q: Is there a time limit?


A: Yes. You should appeal within 21 days of the date you were sentenced.


Q: What if my hearing was more than 21 days ago? Can I still appeal?


A: It may still be possible to appeal, but you would need the permission of the crown court.


Q: How do I appeal?


A: A Notice of Appeal must be completed and submitted to the magistrates’ court which sentenced you.  This will need to set out the legal issues in the case that form the basis of your Appeal.


Q: What happens next?


A: You will be notified of your appeal date in due course. This is usually within a few weeks, and held at the crown court nearest to the magistrates’ court where you were sentenced.


Q: What happens if my appeal is successful?


A: If your appeal against conviction is successful, then your sentence no longer applies. You may receive compensation. If your appeal against sentence is successful, your sentence will be reduced. You may be able to claim back a partial refund of legal costs (i.e. some of the fees paid to a solicitor).


Q: What if my appeal is unsuccessful?


A: You need to be aware before you appeal against magistrates court decision that there are three possible outcomes: the sentence could be improved, made worse, or remain the same. If the appeal is not successful, you do not have an automatic right to pursue any further attempts to appeal.  If an error in law has been made, further Appeal options may be available.  You would need specialist advice about whether or not to proceed. You may be ordered to pay costs.


If you are unhappy with a court decision, and are considering lodging an appeal, please speak with us first. We are happy to offer free initial advice on 01623 397200.


Forrest Williams TV