Appeals from Conviction or Sentence

Contact Us to explore your post conviction and sentence relief options after trial.

Keep in mind that there is a limited time available to appeal a conviction and sentence. If you do not comply within the time limit, you may lose your ability to appeal. Successful appeals result in outcomes such as the following:

  • A new trial.
  • Overturning a conviction or a finding of guilt.
  • Reducing a sentence.

There are many reasons why an appeal from conviction or sentence can be successful. We can determine the best course for your appeal by looking at some of the following common mistakes at trial:

  • Relief for ineffective assistance of counsel.
  • The discovery of legal errors or errors made by judges or counsel.
  • A motion to exclude evidence was denied.
  • A motion to exclude a defendant’s statement to law enforcement was denied.
  • A motion to dismiss the charges was denied.
  • Witnesses failed to appear.
  • Evidence disappeared prior to trial; or
  • New evidence materialized but was not used at trial.

In Which Court Will the Appeal Be Heard?

The court will be different depending on the type of crime. Cases that usually have less serious penalties are called “summary conviction offences”. These cases are appealed to the Superior Court of Justice and are heard before a judge of that court in the community where the trial was conducted.

Cases that usually have more serious maximum penalties, such as murder, are called “indictable offences”, and are appealed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, which usually sits at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen St. West, Toronto.

A further appeal can be made to the Supreme Court of Canada from the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Outcomes for an Appeal:

  1. Dismissal: If the appeal court finds that the trial was properly conducted, and the evidence supports the conviction, the court may dismiss the appeal. If the appeal court finds that an error was not significant, the appeal court may dismiss the appeal even though there was an error. The appeal court may dismiss an appeal against a sentence if the court is satisfied that the sentence fits the crime.
  2. New trial ordered: The appeal court may set aside the conviction and order a new trial if it finds that the trial was not fairly or properly conducted. The appeal court may set aside the acquittal and order a new trial where there is a significant error of law.
  3. Substitute a verdict of guilt: The appeal court may overturn an acquittal, find the offender guilty of an offence and then sentence the offender. This power to substitute a verdict of guilt is only available when the offender has been tried by a judge sitting without a jury. Where a jury has acquitted the accused, the appeal court’s powers are limited to ordering a new trial.
  4. Acquittal: If the evidence does not support the conviction, the appeal court may find the offender not guilty of the charge.
  5. Vary the sentence: The appeal court may change the sentence and either increase or lower the sentence, or remove or add penalties (such as a fine or probation).

Bail Pending Appeal

A person convicted and sentenced to jail will require an application for bail pending appeal. We can provide this service to you in a timely and effective manner.

Driver’s License

Furthermore, someone convicted of a drinking related offence may want his/her driver’s license until the appeal is determined. We can assist you in bringing an application to court to have your driver’s license valid until the appeal is decided.

Referrals from Other Lawyers

We are often sought out by fellow criminal lawyers who are unable or do not desire to do their own appellate work. We respect referrals from other lawyers.

Contact Us for a consultation. I offer strategic, intelligent and aggressive advocacy focused on your rights.

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