Conviction & Appeal
How To Appeal Against A Conviction
Even if you have been found guilty of a motoring offence through a trial, you still have the right to appeal against the decision if you feel that you were wronged and that the conviction was unfair in some way. In fact, it is your right in such cases to have your side of the story heard and be allowed to explain why you feel the verdict was incorrect.
You are able to appeal against a conviction in one of two ways – either by appealing to the Crown Court, or by appealing to the High Court.
The differences between the two options relate to the approach that will be taken to your appeal. Appealing to the Crown Court means a retrial, where your case will be heard again before a Judge and two Magistrates, as though the first trial had not taken place.
On the other hand, if you take your case to the High Court, this involves a hearing which will strive to establish whether the Magistrates Court made an error during your original trial, applying the law incorrectly or being mistaken over the facts.
When can I appeal?
Bear in mind that you cannot appeal against your hearing unless you have good reason to believe that you can prove that the outcome of the trial should have been different, by arguing that the court misinterpreted the law in its ruling, or that there was a flaw in the decision-making process behind the ruling. You cannot appeal against a ruling just because you disagree with it, or think that it is unfair. A failed appeal could see you receive a harsher sentence than that which you were originally given.
Trying to tell the difference between a good potential appeal and a bad one can be difficult without legal advice, so you should seek guidance before you launch your appeal. A road traffic solicitor will be able to advise you as to whether you might have a chance to overturn your decision.
You need to lodge your appeal within 21 days of the verdict or you may find it problematic. It is still possible to appeal once this deadline has passed, but you will need to obtain special permission (leave) to do so.
Preparing your appeal
It is essential that you prepare properly for your appeal hearing as it can be more complex than the Magistrates Court and there is more at stake. The proceedings are more formal and it is likely that you will be going up against specialist Higher Court advocates representing the prosecution.
You should also note that you will be liable to pay the Prosecution’s costs if you lose – which, once you have taken your case to the High Court, could be a significant sum.
For these reasons it’s vital that you equip yourself with a professional motoring law expert who can prepare your case and advice you on the best course of action. With our Find a Solicitor service, it couldn’t be easier – just fill in the adjacent form to get started.
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