1. Magistrates' court verdict

You went to your trial

You can appeal against your conviction or sentence or both if you pleaded not guilty.

You can appeal your sentence but not your conviction if you pleaded guilty.

You should appeal within 21 days of the date you were sentenced. If you don’t then you’ll have to ask the Crown Court for permission before you can appeal. The magistrates’ court where you had your trial will tell you how to do this.

Get an appeal application form

The appeal form comes with guidance notes - including when you must appeal by.

Send the form to the magistrates’ court where the original trial took place.

The court hearing

A few weeks before the hearing you’ll get a letter telling you where and when it is. This is normally your nearest Crown Court.

Appeal hearings usually last between 1 and 3 days.

The appeal decision

If you win your appeal against your conviction, your sentence will no longer apply and you may be able to get compensation.

If you win your appeal against your sentence it will be reduced.

Legal costs

The court may decide that you can get any legal costs paid back (eg a solicitor’s fee).

If you lose your appeal, your original conviction will stay the same, but you may be able to appeal again. You may be ordered to pay extra costs.

You didn’t go to your trial

You should contact the magistrates’ court that passed the sentence or convicted you. This applies if:

  • you didn’t realise you had been convicted for an offence (eg speeding fine)
  • you were unable to enter a plea or mitigation at the time
  • you sent mitigation evidence documents to the court but don’t think they’ve been considered in your conviction

They’ll be able to let you know whether the case can be reopened.