Criminal’s Appeal and Outcomes of An Appeal
A criminal conviction can be a life changing event. Individuals can have a higher court review their case if they are not happy with the decision.
What is an Appeal?
If someone is found guilty of a crime they can appeal the decision to a higher court. The person found guilty can appeal their conviction and/or their sentence. The Crown’s right to appeal is typically much more limited than the offender’s.
The appeal court will examine the process of sentencing and any errors that may have occurred. The court can also examine whether the evidence presented at trial actually supports the conviction.
If an offender asks to have their sentence reviewed, the appeal court will examine whether the sentence is fair by looking at factors such as:
- The nature of the crime;
- The background of the offender;
- The impact the crime has on the victim; and
- Sentences are given to people for certain crimes.
Which court do I appeal my decision to?
In Ontario, less serious offences go to the Superior Court of Justice and more serious offences are heard by the Ontario Court of appeal.
What are the possible outcomes from an appeal hearing?
The appeal court can make their decision based on the hearing. Some of these outcomes include:
1. Dismiss the appeal: If the appellate court determines that there were no significant errors with the trial and the evidence supports the conviction, the court can dismiss the appeal.
2. Order a new trial: If the court finds that there were significant errors of law, they may set aside the conviction and order a new trial.
3. Change the sentence: The appeal court may decide to either increase or decrease the sentence, or add or remove certain penalties.
4. Acquittal: if the evidence does not support the decision of guilt made by a lower court, the appeal court may rule that the offender is not guilty of the offence.
5. Substitute a verdict of guilt: The appeal court has the ability to change an acquittal to a verdict of guilty where the offender had their case heard without a jury. If a jury acquits an offender, the appeal court does not have the ability to substitute a verdict of guilty and can only order a new trial.
A person must file an appeal within 30 days of sentencing. Tailor Law provides legal services for criminal cases in Ontario.
If you need help with a criminal appeal process in Ontario, contact our experienced Criminal Lawyers for free consultations. You can reach our office at 905-366-0202 or contact us through our website here.