Doing the time but not the crime…

Trials take place every single day, some lasting a few hours whilst others spanning over several months. Trials are an essential and important part of our justice system and it is imperative that each accused person is given a fair trial.

When people are charged with criminal offences, many of them plead not guilty and proceed to trial. They may elect to go to trial for a number of reasons, the most common two being: they didn’t commit the offence they are charged with, or they don’t think the prosecution can prove the charge. The latter is called putting the prosecution to proof.  You can read more about pleading not guilty and the trial process in the blog “Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?”. But what happens to those who are convicted of offences which they think they shouldn’t have been? They generally seek advice on how to appeal.

One of the first things to be aware of, is that there isn’t a right of appeal just because someone was convicted when they think they shouldn’t have been. For an appeal on conviction to be successful, it must demonstrate a legal error. In considering whether or not an error has been, our lawyers will review all of the materials which were relied upon throughout the trial, as well as the transcript of what was said. We can then advise our clients whether there are any prospect of appealing the conviction.

If it is considered that a legal error has been made and appeal has reasonable prospects of success, an appeal will need to be lodged with the Supreme Court. This process starts by filing an Appeal Notice a certain number of days after the sentence is handed down. It is important to get legal advice on what time limit your matter has in order to appeal on time.

To find out if you can appeal your conviction, contact our criminal defence lawyers on (08) 9386 5200.


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