Common Questions

How can I appeal my conviction or sentence in a criminal case?
You are convicted when you are found guilty of committing a crime. 
 
You receive a sentence as punishment after being found guilty of or pleading guilty to committing a crime. Sentences may include fines, community supervision or time in prison.

You appeal a case when you ask a higher court to review the decision of a lower court because you believe there has been a serious error that has affected the outcome of your case - for example, if the judge has made a mistake regarding the facts of your case, or in applying the law to your case.
 
You can appeal either your conviction, your sentence, or both.

Good starting points are:
  • How to appeal your conviction, from Legal Services Society, explains how to appeal a conviction for a summary or indictable criminal offence. It is intended for people who may or may not be in custody, but have to conduct an appeal without the help of a lawyer. Includes a sample factum and affidavit, and removable blank forms.
  • How to appeal your sentence, from Legal Services Society, explains how to appeal a sentence if someone has been convicted of a summary or indictable criminal offence. It is intended for people who may or may not be in custody, but have to conduct an appeal without the help of a lawyer. Contains a sample affidavit and removable blank forms.

Need more help?

  • Find out if you qualify for legal aid. If you’re in custody, call the prisoners-only line at 1-888-839-8889 (no charge), or call their Appeals Section collect at 604-601-6085. If you're not in custody, call Legal Services Society's Call Centre at 1-866-577-2525 (toll free) or 604-408-2172.
  • Lawyer Referral Service, from CBA BC, helps you connect with a lawyer for an initial consultation of up to 30 minutes for $25 plus taxes. Find out what kind of help the lawyer can offer you and what you can afford.

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Last reviewed September 2018
tags
criminal charges, criminal court, criminal justice system, criminal records, appeals, conviction, sentencing, criminal appeal, appealing a decision