Home > Appeals > Crown Court Appeals

Crown Court Appeals

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 27 Aug 2021 |
Court Of Appeal Criminal Crown Court

The Crown Court hears the more serious criminal cases in England and Wales. Like the Magistrates’ Court, there are two ways in which you can be convicted. Firstly if you admit your guilt in the Crown Court you will have a conviction. Alternatively, you can be convicted by a jury. A jury must be certain (so that they are sure) that you are guilty, before they can find you guilty of an offence. If your Crown Court case was an appeal against sentence or conviction from the Magistrates’ Court, you have no further right to appeal.

Court Procedure

After you are convicted, your defence lawyer must advise you as to the prospects of success of an appeal. A notice of appeal must be given to the criminal division of the Court of Appeal within 28 days of the decision you are appealing. In some circumstances, such as if you have been found guilty after a trial and the trial judge has ordered that reports should be prepared for your sentencing hearing, you may need to provide notice of your decision to appeal your conviction before you are actually sentenced.

Further, these types of appeals from the Crown Court to the Court of Appeal are not re-hearings. The Court of Appeal considers submissions from counsel, which can be given orally or in writing. An appeal can be against conviction or sentence but, unlike appeals from the Magistrates’ Court to the Crown Court, there is no automatic right to appeal save for in two limited circumstances:

  • if the sole ground(s) for your appeal involve(s) a question of law only
  • in exceptional cases, the trial judge in the Crown Court may certify that the case is fit for appeal

Obtaining Leave to Appeal

In order to appeal, you are required to obtain ‘leave’ (permission) from the Court of Appeal. In the first instance, you apply for leave to appeal to a single judge who will consider your request on the papers alone. If this is refused, you can apply in front of the full court. However if this application (either on paper or verbally in front of the full court) is refused the court has the power to direct that the time you have spent in prison to date has not counted towards your sentence, lengthening the amount of time you will have to spend in prison.

Appeal Against Conviction

The Court of Appeal will only overturn a conviction if they consider it to be ‘unsafe’. Appeals against conviction do not entitle the Court of Appeal to increase your sentence if they decide not to overturn your conviction, but they do have the power to order you to pay the prosecution costs if you are unsuccessful (this is generally rare, given that you have already sought and obtained permission from the Court to have your appeal heard.)

Appeal Against Sentence

The Court of Appeal will only re-sentence you if they consider that your sentence was either ‘wrong in principle’ (e.g. contrary to the law) or ‘manifestly excessive.’ However, it is not just the defence that can appeal against a sentence imposed at the Crown Court. If the prosecution considers that the judge gave you a sentence which was ‘unduly lenient’ they can also appeal to the Court of Appeal to ask them to give you a more hefty sentence. In these circumstances, however, the Court of Appeal often deducts a certain amount from the normal sentencing tariff because of the fact that the respondent (defendant) will now be facing a more weighty sentence than previously imposed.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hello I would like to appeal my sentence and conviction! I was found guilty of murder which i am not guilty of. I need help I need help. Please help me
Scobra - 27-Aug-21 @ 12:19 AM
My daughter's abuser was sentenced to 12 years, which was increased to 15 on appeal, i have been told he is appealing again, how is this possible? how many appeals are allowed. my daughter was 5-6 years old when this happened.
disappointed - 14-Aug-21 @ 1:57 PM
My son has been sentenced to 27 months he hit a cyclist on a B road (dual carriageway) , he was not speeding or under the influence, he did however use Spotify on his phone, he was in such shock that he threw phone out of smashed window drove around the roundabout to other side run across both carriageways to get to cyclist was crying and saying sorry, the cyclist spent 11 days in hospital with his injuries my son had 1 month for perverting the course of justice and the rest for dangerous driving there were 3 unanswered calls on his phone and even though he shouldn't have changed the music this is not against the law as far as I'm aware. Unfortunately the cyclists wife passed away with cancer during this time which has destroyed us emotionally as well as them...and knowing that the cyclist could not care for her as he would have been able to, we know this suffering from our own family experience. I have read other sentences from others who have done worse, yet had lighter sentences, I cant help but feel the judge sentenced my son harshly because of the emotional side of it, I really need help to get proper justice for my son, many thanks
Penny66 - 29-Dec-20 @ 1:30 PM
My partner was sentenced to 18 years for drug supply class A was his first a fence for 2kelo of Cocaine do you think that this is a harsh sentence people have done worse with the same a fence or a different a fence and have recived a lot of a lesser sentence any advice on this sentence
Af - 21-Oct-20 @ 11:31 AM
CAROLINE - 21-Aug-20 @ 3:44 PM
CAROLINE - 21-Aug-20 @ 3:43 PM
hope that you can help me and my son. He is at this moment in time serving an 18yrs sentence for rape of a child. As stated.. There was no medical evidence of this other than the child had clamidia without further investigation. He was sleeping with her mother at the time of the accusations who told us she was pregnant by him. Nothing said about clamidia. His partner who he started seeing around the same time of the accusations has been tested and doesn't have clamidia. Clamidia wasnt mentioned until sentenced. The barrister who was representing him did not call any witnesses in his defence. There was a lot of inconsistencies. The police officer said that they had probably been to my home to arrest him.. Which was untrue because I receive a phone off the child's mother to inform me what had been said. I then called my son and he went to Wolverhampton police st ation the following day to find out what was going on. I went with him. I also handed notes she had written to the police which apparently they lost and i had to produce copies. The child constantly asks how he is. Her best friend at the time had accused her step dad of identical things.. The prosecution constantly said it was because he had been abused that he was an abuser. My son admitted he had had violent relationships. Especially with the mother of the child. He was also accused of abusing another child because he had cuddled her years ago. But that girl actually stated he had not touched her in any way. Her mother isn't one of the nicest people.. But she has 2 children by my son who have told her that they will see their dad as soon as they can. His other son has letter contact with his dad.. I have grandchildren.. Nephews.. Nieces ect who all love my son.. I feel he was misrepresented in court. Even the judge said that the case had already cost too much money.. We had a juror who could not read or write but when the cou rt was informed of this on the second day. He stated he already had his verdict. If I had 1% doubt in my son I wouldn't be writing this. Also we were told if he pleaded guilty he would probably recieved a lower sentence. One of the defence witnesses statements wasnt produced until the last day by the prosecution with the excuse that the police could not find her because she had moved. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Jasicada - 3-Jun-20 @ 10:14 AM
If I sent off for an appeal 3 months ago and still haven’t heard anything back, is there any chance I could withdrawal it?
Sophie - 31-May-20 @ 12:20 PM
Having gotten my self in various incidents involving the law. I would like to find out how one goes about having cautions removed from my pnc record being that the cautions were from three different districts. Additionally, what is my chances of appealing a conditional discharge.
Yimmy - 21-Apr-20 @ 1:47 PM
Hi my son has been convicted of murder along with 2 others however he did not commit the murder the other 2 boys did he will be sentence on Friday he's 25 years old and has 2 children under 5 years old I'm so concerned for them as their mum treats them badly for the sake of his children can he appeal his sentence for murder which is mandatory no less than 25 years meaning his son will be 30 before he's released ....
Nan - 5-Feb-20 @ 10:18 AM
My partner has been waiting over a year to obtain leave to appeal. Is this normal? He is appealing both his sentence and conviction. When I ring the court of appeal they say his case is in the beginning stages every time.
Need2know - 12-Sep-19 @ 10:23 AM
Hello can I in any way get help or appeal a guilty plea to common assault. I was advised by solicitor that I could plead not guilty cause it was self defence then I was told we would meet up before my hearing, the solicitors never met with me and in day of trial it was a solicitor I had never met who stated they got my file that morning so was reading up. She advised me to plead guilty because court was stressful and police statement n doormen (who I was accused of assaulting after then had assaulted me by physically removing me from the building at end of night when I was told by owner to wait whilst he looked out back to see if my cousin was there) had made statements against me. This solicitor had not heard my police interview nor watched the cctv if outside which is when I hit the doormen. I was told it would not affect my work or studies. So I listened as I suffer fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and was at that time suffering work related anxiety and depression. I was placed on tagged for 2 months and have since lost my job and been removed from my uni course, as it says I cannot work with vulnerable children. This is ruining my life. The week after the trial I then received a letter from the first solicitor I spoke to stating I had legal aid and they expect my case to go on for approximately 5 months. I was so confused and tried to contact them but no response was ever received. I emailed the day after court and advised I felt met down by the company as I was acting in self defence and not guilty but advised in my emotional vulnerable state that a guilty plea would end all stress and worries
Anxious - 20-Aug-19 @ 10:06 AM
I wish to know if one can appeal the mitigation not used used in a crown court case.My son has Aspergers Syndrome (high functioning).The paperwork was given to the judge proving that my son was diagnosed at 6 yrs and as an adult by top consultant at mental health hospital.The judge had never heard of Aspergers and on sentencing decided my son had no mental health problems.It may have knocked off a some small amount of time off his sentenced if used.Is there anything l can do?
Pauline - 22-Dec-18 @ 7:12 PM
A relative of mine arrested for the case of conspiracy in entry of illegal immigrant for two years. The appeal against sentence has been approved by court of appeal. He will be freedfrom the prison after one and a half month with the four moths on electric tag afterward.In his appeal he can win or lose. If he loseWhat would be the consequenses of his lost regarding to his sentence duration and cost of appal?can you please answer me? Thankswoomi
Woomi - 29-Jan-18 @ 10:31 PM
My ex assaulted me and caused me bodily harm he threatened to kill me ..the cps are taking him to crown court this year ..he alleged I attacked him in his statement when he was first arrested and he pleaded not guilty to my assault..he is now claiming self defence and still not guilty plea so a trial is going to be in a few months..it's seems to me his lawyer has told him to do this to get off ? Will the jury see through this ..my ex is a very good liar
Ollie - 21-Jan-18 @ 1:10 AM
In march 2011 I was convicted by a jury of a section 18 & sentenced to 13years EPP, my co-defendent received 15 months forsection 20.it was actually my codefendent who was guilty if the 18 & me of the 20.I tried to appeal conviction & got a good barrister from London,he was very shocked that I'd been found guilty but could find no new evidence,& the judge had done everything correctly,I have been out of prison for two years now & believe I have found new evidence myself,evidence I could never find while in custody,this has destroyed my life,serving 9 years for something I didn't do, the witnesses completely changed there storey in court,they had always maintained it could have been either me or my co.d,also there refresher statement two weeks before the trial,but in court they put it all in me,I was found guilty of glassing the female in the neck with a glass,which my prints wernt even on my co,d blamed me also.I was completely stitched up, I was offered 4 years at the start of my trial but I would not admitted to something I hadn't done, there is so much more to this,that is to long to go into,I will never get the 5 years back I served or having to give birth to my baby in jail only to be separated 6 hours later, thus has destroyed me & my family,I want to clear my name,I believe I have now found new evidence, is it to late to try & appeal again?
Kate - 3-Jan-18 @ 6:04 PM
Hi, a friend of mine has been convicted by a jury for conspiracy to supply class A drugs and hasn’t defended himself well enough to convince the jury of his innocence. The evidence the prosecution has produced was circumstantial. He was ill advised by his barrister and solicitor to not answer the questions posed to him with definitive answers and relied upon their advise. Crucial evidence for his defence was not produced and the second person who was also present in the prosecutions evidence and vital to the case wasn’t brought forward in the case and the evidence of cell site was used when the defendant was clearly with the second person yet he wasn’t taken into consideration to confirm that the phone used was his or the defendants. The phone was clearly the second persons but the defendant under pressure wasn’t able to answer or relay this to the court due to his lack of understanding and the incapabilty to do so due to stress and the loss of his mother just before the trial. The judge also used a.m. certain phrases and I feel that influenced the jury to come to their decision. Is there any ground for appeal on the conviction? This young man is genuine and is innocent. Thank you
James - 7-Dec-17 @ 10:21 PM
can you appeal to try and get a trial if you pleaded guilty on bad advice from a barrister. ie barrister told my brother if he piled guilty for attempted murder he would be out in 7 years on this basis my brother pleaded guilty. also he wasn't tokd about any deal s like pleading not guilty with the possibility of a lesser charge like sec 20 wounding for giving up the trial and pleading guilty
paul - 21-Nov-17 @ 6:12 PM
Needhelpasap - Your Question:
Hi there,My dad got arrested 2 and a half years ago at the border as he was carrying identity cards of foreign nationals this made them suspect that he is assisting illegal immigrants into the country.He was called to multiple court hearings but they all kept getting cancelled and postponed, finally after 2 and a half years the trial was set for last year. Unfortunately the jury reached a guilty verdict which then leaded to him getting 7 years ! (Which would be 3.5 years)This is not fair and as a family we're gonna appeal this but I just wanted to get some advice and rights that we have.Thanks

Our Response:
We are unable to give help here as we can only answer basic questions. You would need to find an independent immigration adviser that can advise more fully, please see link here.
CourtroomAdvice - 9-Nov-17 @ 10:08 AM
Sorry I meant last week not last year ????????????
Needhelpasap - 8-Nov-17 @ 2:57 PM
Hi there, My dad got arrested 2 and a half years ago at the border as he was carrying identity cards of foreign nationals this made them suspect that he is assisting illegal immigrants into the country. He was called to multiple court hearings but they all kept getting cancelled and postponed, finally after 2 and a half years the trial was set for last year. Unfortunately the jury reached a guilty verdict which then leaded to him getting 7 years ! (Which would be 3.5 years) This is not fair and as a family we're gonna appeal this but I just wanted to get some advice and rights that we have. Thanks
Needhelpasap - 8-Nov-17 @ 2:56 PM
My friend has just been given 30 years for a murder, there was a burglary he didn’t enter the property, they took the car and the owner got run over frombehind, there was lots of evidence that he didn’t see the owner, also this was very high media and went to trial in the town were it was committed, I feel the sentence is to much life is 25 years normally with a min of something. What does anyone else know about this?
Me - 4-Nov-17 @ 12:08 PM
I was assaulted 2yrs ago. It went to court where she was given 18m suspended sentence, 1,000 costs and ordered to pay 500 compensation. She appealed, court was cancelled 5 times, she sacked her first solicitor 2 months ago and hired a Silk Barrister. Last Friday it finally went ahead. The Barrister badgered my daughter now 18yo and my partner who were both witnesses and myself. There was also photographic evidence of my injuries caused by a horse whip.She won her appeal and I am devastated. Is there anything I can do? There is also a charge of intimidation by herself her son and her friend of which there is video evidence and I was on the phone to the police when her friend was shouting at me which is recorded. Will this still go ahead ? As you can imagine the whole ordeal has had a huge affect on myself and my family. Any help would be hugely appreciated.
Joules - 19-Oct-17 @ 5:09 PM
Please could you advise on my situation; I would like to appeal my compensation order given in August 2015 by the crown court. I was ill advised at the time and do not think my case was heard fairly, the charge was for faulsely obtaining benefits, I was ordered to pay £19K in 3 years and I am now in my final year, having only reduced this to £16K, through being at university for one of the two years, although I have been making continued payments. I have been acting as a single mother until May this year in which I have been able to make more substantial payments, however do not feel I was realistically able to pay over £500 per month consecutively in order to clear the order in the time frame given. The court did not look into my finances at the time and my ex partner who benefited at the time was not given any amount of the compensation order. Please can you advise if I can appeal the amount still owed and what happens at the end of the 3 year period given as I will not have paid off the amount, will I be given a prison sentence? Kind regards, Emma
Emmalouise28 - 17-Oct-17 @ 3:50 PM
I've been convicted of failing to provide driver details, I was convicted in my absence due to a mix up in dates and I missed my crown court appeal due to my little lad being ill. Is there anything else I can do ? I've lost my job as my licence is revoked as a new driver and my grandfathers unable to leave the house as we have no other car
Callum - 12-Sep-17 @ 8:36 PM
Hannah - Your Question:
My partner was sentanced to 3 years on a drug charge. He wants to appeal but because he admitted it in the police station. Can they end up giving him longer? It's taken the police 10 months to charge him. I'm now pregnant, we now got our own home. & he started up a business. What can we do? Can they give him a bigger sentance on his first apeal?

Our Response:
You can appeal against your conviction, sentence or both if you pleaded not guilty at your trial. If you pleaded guilty, you can only appeal against your sentence. Please see link here , which will explain more.
CourtroomAdvice - 5-Sep-17 @ 10:00 AM
My partner was sentanced to 3 years on a drug charge. He wants to appeal but because he admitted it in the police station. Can they end up giving him longer? It's taken the police 10 months to charge him. I'm now pregnant, we now got our own home. & he started up a business. What can we do? Can they give him a bigger sentance on his first apeal?
Hannah - 4-Sep-17 @ 1:03 PM
Ross - Your Question:
I was convicted of GBH , 10 years ago after I was jumped by two guys when I finished work as a door supervisor. I'm now wanting to submit an application to the police force when my time in the army is up , can you tell me if I can get this conviction appealed against and taken off my record ?

Our Response:
Please see the gov.uk link here which will answer your question in full.
CourtroomAdvice - 24-Aug-17 @ 9:46 AM
I was convicted of GBH , 10 years ago after I was jumped by two guys when I finished work as a door supervisor ...... I'm now wanting to submit an application to the police force when my time in the army is up , can you tell me if I can get this conviction appealed against and taken off my record ?
Ross - 23-Aug-17 @ 12:17 AM
My sons appeal against his conviction and sentence was refused can he appeal again
Nicky - 5-Jul-17 @ 7:37 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • social-issues
    Re: Pre-Sentence Reports
    Hello Remel, no. Holidays have nothing to do with sentencing. If you have a sentence to begin, you will be taken away to serve it. It…
    13 June 2024
  • social-issues
    Re: Pre-Sentence Reports
    Hello Sunshine, yes. Nothing that you have said is unusual. Offenders go on the register and orders are given by the court. The victim is…
    13 June 2024
  • Remel
    Re: Pre-Sentence Reports
    Hi I took a plea guilty to abh so I have a pre sentence report awaiting on sentence date is 29th august, would I be allowed to go on a pre…
    5 June 2024
  • susie sunshine
    Re: Pre-Sentence Reports
    I was recently in court and the guy was charged with sexual assault and harassment, he went innocent ,but sadly lost it under cross…
    24 May 2024
  • Sprogs
    Re: What Will Happen if I Don't Turn Up at Court?
    What happens if you don't turn up for a court hearing.. On the 10/04/2024 I attended a court hearing at…
    11 April 2024
  • Shem
    Re: Probation and Community Sentencing
    I've been asking to move office for the last 3 months. My probation office has refused to move me.ive served 2 years on…
    21 March 2024
  • P1P
    Re: Information About Parole Board Hearings
    My son had his parole hearing on 22nd Feb2024, he was granted release, he was told he would be released after a…
    6 March 2024
  • Loger
    Re: Probation and Community Sentencing
    I finished my order in January I am up for breach in April now my order is finished do I have to still attend probation…
    5 March 2024
  • social-issues
    Re: Pre-Sentence Reports
    Hello hk, I can't see what the problem is, unless the subject is planning to be unavailable. If what you are saying is that the Probation…
    28 February 2024
  • Paul778883
    Re: Failure to Attend Jury Service
    I would just ignore the letter. Bin it then if if it does hit the fan just say you never knew. Even then if they call me in I…
    21 February 2024