Josh Smith Legal are experts in all types of appeal cases. Our criminal lawyers have worked in, and won, many appeal cases including appeals in the County Court of Victoria and the Supreme Court of Victoria.
What are appeals?
Appeals are pretty simple – a result has been given in one court, and someone then tries to improve or change that result in another court.
Appeals can be made against the sentence that someone receives, or against the conviction (ie when they have been found guilty in court but want to reverse that result).
Appeal hearings are heard in the ‘superior courts’ – in other words, an appeal hearing will always go to a court that is higher up the court hierarchy than the court which heard the case originally. For instance, if your case is first heard in the Magistrates Court, your appeal would then usually be heard in the County Court. If your case were first heard in the County Court, the appeal would usually go to the Supreme Court.
When can I appeal a result?
Anybody who is found guilty of an offence in Victoria has an automatic right to appeal that decision.
You need to lodge the appeal paperwork with the appropriate court within 28 days of the decision to start the appeal process. If you attempt to lodge an appeal after 28 days has lapsed, you need to get leave (permission) from the court to appeal, so it is best to lodge the appeal early.
What grounds do I need to appeal?
There are various grounds on which appeals can be lodged, such as:
- The penalty was too harsh, or ‘manifestly excessive’.
- The judge made an error in sentencing.
- There was a substantial miscarriage of justice in the first trial.
- The jury’s verdict in the trial was not supported by evidence.
What results can come from appeals?
There are various results which can arise from appeals, including:
- Quashed convictions and acquittals.
- Reduced sentences or penalties.
- A re-trial.