Conducting a Criminal Appeal

Criminal Appeals in Ontario

Criminal appeals in Ontario are used to challenge the legal decisions made in criminal trials. Through an appeal, an individual can petition a higher court for a re-examination of their case and/or the sentence imposed by a lower court. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the crime, an individual may be able to appeal a conviction or sentence to either the Ontario Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court of Canada. In cases involving less serious offences such as summary offences, individuals have the right to appeal their case directly to the Superior Court of Justice.

In order to successfully navigate an appeal process in Ontario, there are several important steps that must be followed. These steps include preparing for the appeal, filing and submitting documents, presenting evidence and witnesses in court, and receiving judgement from the court. Knowing how to properly conduct an appeal is essential for those facing criminal charges in Ontario.

Types of Criminal Appeals

There are two primary types of criminal appeals in Ontario – acquittals and sentences. An acquittal appeal is used to challenge the original judgement of a court, whereas a sentence appeal can be used to reduce the severity or length of a sentence imposed on an individual. In addition, judicial reviews are also permitted when an individual believes that the decision made by a lower court was procedurally improper.

In criminal cases, most acquittal and sentence appeals must be filed within thirty days of receiving judgment from the lower court. If an individual believes that their rights were violated during trial proceedings, they can file for a judicial review within sixty days after being notified of their conviction or sentencing.

All individuals who wish to file for an appeal should consult with legal counsel before making any decisions. A lawyer will be able to provide informed guidance and determine the best course of action for one’s particular situation.

The Appellant

What is an Appellant?

An appellant is an individual or entity that is filing for an appeal against a criminal conviction or sentencing. The appellant is the individual or organization who takes the case to higher court and presents their argument as to why the judgement of a lower court should be overturned. Depending on the type of conviction, an individual may be able to file for an appeal themselves or they may need legal representation in order to move forward with their case.


Who Can Conduct an Appeal?

Who Can Conduct an Appeal?

Criminal appeals can be conducted by the individual who is filing for the appeal or by a competent legal representative. If an individual does not have the financial capability to hire a lawyer, they may be able to obtain free legal aid from specific agencies in order to move forward with their case. An appellant should be aware that the court system is a complex process and having someone with experience in criminal law present on their behalf could greatly improve their chances of success.


Preparing for the Appeal

Gathering Evidence and Witnesses

When making an appeal, it is important for the appellant to compile evidence to support their case. This material can be uncovered through research or obtained from other sources such as witnesses or expert testimony. It is important that the evidence presented has relevance to the argument being made and is within the guidelines of court procedure. Witnesses can also be a valuable asset during an appeal since they can provide firsthand accounts of what really happened in a situation. It is important to note that any witness testimonies should be truthful and unbiased, as lying or providing misleading information can compromise the appeal process.


Preparation of Legal Documents

In order to make an effective appeal, the appellant must properly prepare all legal documents that are required. This includes researching any applicable laws related to the case, as well as understanding the arguments and evidence needed. The appellant should also familiarize themselves with local court procedures and precedents that will help shape their argument. In addition to this, it is important for the appellant to create a detailed plan outlining how they plan on presenting their argument in court. All documents must be accurate, thorough, and professional in order to present a compelling appeal.


Filing and Submitting the Appeal

Court Fees and Deadlines

When filing an appeal, there are legal fees associated with the process that must be paid. It is important that the appellant familiarize themselves with court fee requirements in order to avoid any penalties or delayed proceedings. In addition to this, deadlines may also be imposed on certain stages of the appeal process. Missing these deadlines can result in a dismissal of the case so it is important for the appellant to stay up-to-date on all relevant deadlines throughout their appeal.

Documents and Forms Needed to File an Appeal

When filing an appeal, it is important for the appellant to understand what documents are needed in order to properly present their case. These documents may include court forms, certificates of service, affidavits of law, memorandums of law, requests for discovery, and other necessary documents. It is also important that all documents are properly prepared and filed in a timely manner in accordance with state regulations.

Presenting the Case in Court

Oral Arguments by Counsel Representing Both Parties

During an appeal, counsel representing both parties will have the opportunity to make oral arguments. This is the time for each side to state their case and explain why their position should be accepted by the court. The appellant’s attorney will present both legal and factual evidence in order to establish a viable argument. The opposing counsel will also present their own evidence and refute any points made by the appellant. Both attorneys will address different aspects of the legal issue at hand, which can help inform any decisions reached by the court.

Submission of Evidence and Witnesses’ Testimony

In the event of an appeal, the appellant should be prepared to present evidence in support of their position. This may include affidavits from witnesses, copies of relevant documents, photographic or video evidence, and other forms of tangible proof. The appellant should also expect to have any witnesses that can provide direct information about the case called to testify on their behalf before the court. In addition, both sides will have an opportunity to cross-examine any witness that presents testimony before the tribunal.

Judgement of the Court

At the conclusion of oral arguments and evidence submission, the court will make its judgement on the case. Depending on the legal issue in question, the court can render a variety of decisions, including upholding or overturning a previous ruling or decree. The court may also decide to remand the case back to a lower court for further proceedings. Once judgment is rendered, both attorneys must abide by the decision of the court and act accordingly.

Ruling on New Facts or Decisions Presented During the Appeal Process

In some cases, new evidence or decisions may arise during the appeal process. In such cases, the court has the authority to make a ruling based on this freshly presented information. This could include overturning previous decisions based on new findings and evidence or creating a new set of guidelines for future rulings. The court’s decision will once again be binding upon both parties involved in the case, and they must abide by it accordingly.



The court’s judgement is incredibly important in any legal case. Its decision carries weight, and will set precedent for future rulings. When deciding a case, the court may uphold or overturn a previous ruling, or remand it back to a lower court. The court may also make a ruling based on new evidence and decisions that have been presented during the appeal process. In all cases, both parties must abide by the judgement of the court.

We highly discourage anyone from seeking legal advice through this article. This article only provides general information and should you have any further questions regarding Conducting a Criminal Appeal, please contact us to book a free initial consultation.

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