An appeal is a legal process that allows the accused to argue that the first court made an error in its findings.
The Courts of Criminal Appeal Act 1912 provides that the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) can only hear appeals against conviction, sentence, or both. This means you can’t appeal on the point of law alone (i.e., without regard to the evidence). The court will also have no discretion to order a retrial, new hearing, or rehearing on any ground that involves a question of fact alone or requires the court to reconsider the weight of the evidence.
There are over 23000 registered lawyers in Sydney. So, before hastily typing “criminal lawyers sydney” on your search engine and selecting an inefficient personal attorney, you must understand the procedure that goes into filing an appeal.
This article discusses what you must know before filing an appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA).
Filing an appeal
There is a strict time schedule and limits for how long you must take to file various documents and appear at various hearings. Failure to comply with any time limits may result in your appeal being dismissed without further notice. Contact an experienced criminal lawyer as early as possible if you are considering filing an appeal.
Criminal Case Number
You must include the criminal case number on your notice of appeal. Also, you should ensure that there is a copy of the statement of evidence and reasons for the decision attached to your notice of appeal.
All parties are required to attend various listed hearings before the Court of Criminal Appeal. These can be critical hearings because they could impact your case. Make sure you attend every listed hearing, even if it is difficult for you to attend or requires significant effort on your part.
The law allows the accused’s legal representatives (lawyers) and the prosecution to file written submissions. You can use this opportunity as an advantage by filing a written request to address any errors in the first instance.
The law also allows the CCA to order an oral hearing, but it’s important to note that both parties have no automatic right to attend such a hearing. Whether or not the other party will get an opportunity to speak depends on the court’s discretion.
Non-Compliance with Time Limits
The Court of Criminal Appeal can extend or waive time limits if they are satisfied that it is just and reasonable to do so in all the circumstances, including fairness to any person likely to be affected by non-compliance with a time limit.
However, if you are not ready to file your appeal on time, you should let the court know as soon as possible.
You must lodge documents in due time unless there is some reasonable excuse for it being late. If you fail to file a court appeal within one month after the date of judgment, you will be considered in default and may be excluded from the appeal proceedings.
The Court’s Discretion
The court can decide who will pay the cost of an application for leave to appeal and any subsequent appeal. If your appeal is dismissed without further notice, you may be ordered to pay some or all of the prosecution’s costs of the hearing before the CCA.
The court may quash the conviction and make any order that fits a retrial or rehearing. It may also remit the matter to the Local Court for sentencing if it appears that the court did not impose a sentence adequate in the circumstances of your case.
The Court of Criminal Appeal can’t consider your appeal until you have lodged all relevant documents, including the notice of appeal, written submissions, and any draft orders.
Don’t delay filing your notice of appeal if you want to take advantage of all legal remedies available. Contact an experienced criminal lawyer in Sydney or search for one online with “good criminal lawyers sydney” typed on the search engine. Contact an excellent criminal lawyer today for professional advice about your case. And most importantly, don’t panic!