Appeal a Crown Court decision

You can appeal against your Crown Court conviction, sentence or both. It does not matter if you pleaded guilty or not guilty.

Before you can appeal a conviction or sentence, you must apply for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division.

Talk to your legal representative (if you have one) or get help from a legal adviser before you apply. They can help you decide if your application is likely to be successful or not.

You do not need a legal representative to apply to appeal.

Ask for permission to appeal

Complete the relevant form to either:

If you’re applying without legal representation, complete the easy read form for convictions or the easy read form for sentences.

Return the form by post or email. The return address is on the form.

If you’re in prison, you can ask a prison officer to send the form for you.

You must apply within 28 days of either:

  • the date you were convicted (even if you were sentenced at a later date) if you’re appealing against your conviction
  • the date you were sentenced if you’re appealing against your sentence

If you apply later you’ll need to explain why you could not send your application in on time. You may get an extension.

A judge will look at your application and decide whether to give you permission.

If you get permission to appeal

Your appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeal Criminal Division.

You’ll get a letter before the hearing to let you know when and where it’ll take place.

Your legal representative (for example, your barrister) will present your case to the judges.

If you’re appealing a conviction, representatives from the prosecution will present the case against you. This will not always happen if you appeal against a sentence.

If you do not get permission to appeal

You have the right to ask for permission to appeal a second time (known as ‘renewing your application’). The letter will tell you how to do this and include the relevant application form.

A ‘full court’ of 2 or 3 judges will review your renewed application.

If your application is refused again, you may need to pay costs and you may be given a ‘loss of time order’. This means you will spend longer in custody and the time will be added to your sentence.

If you win your appeal

Your conviction may be overturned or your sentence may be reduced (or both).

If you lose your appeal

Your original sentence or conviction will not change. You cannot appeal again.

Contact the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) if you think there’s been a ‘miscarriage of justice’, for example if evidence was not presented.

Stopping your appeal

You can apply to stop your appeal at any time.

To do this, you must download and fill in a notice of abandoning an appeal form.

Send your completed form to the Criminal Appeal Office.

Customer Service Officer
Criminal Appeal Office
Royal Courts of Justice

You cannot usually restart your appeal once it’s been stopped.