Appeal a Crown Court decision

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

Ask for permission to appeal

You must first apply for permission to appeal. A judge will look at your application and decide whether to give you permission.

Talk to your legal representative (if you have one) or get help from a legal adviser before you apply.

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.

To ask for permission, download and fill in the form that relates to your crime or sentence. Send the form by post or email. The address is on the form.

If you’re in prison, you can get help from a legal services officer to fill in the form and answer questions about the appeals process.

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’ll get a letter to let you know you have not been given permission. It’ll explain how the judge made their decision.

You have the right to renew your application and ask a ‘full court’ of 2 or 3 judges to give you permission. The letter will tell you how to do this.

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 but you might have to:

  • restart your sentence from the beginning
  • pay the court costs

Contact the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) if you think there’s been a ‘miscarriage of justice’, for example 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 abandonment of appeal’ form.

Send your completed form to the Criminal Appeal Office.

Customer Service Officer
Criminal Appeal Office
Royal Courts of Justice

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