Criminal Appeals

“A firm dedicated to the old-fashioned virtue of conscientious hard work in pursuit of their clients interests”.

Legal 500 – Ranked as Tier 1 (Crime), Independent Legal Directory


At Hodge Jones & Allen we know that criminal proceedings can have a devastating effect on people’s lives. We never dismiss any case as insignificant. It is significant to you and, therefore, to us. Our success in appealing decisions has also led to an intimate understanding that the right decisions are not always made and cases are often dealt with unfairly. A feeling of injustice will stay with people forever.

That is why we are dedicated to offering thorough and fearless advice and assistance on appeals. Whether you are appealing a driving ban in the Magistrates’ Court or a conviction for murder in the Crown Court, you need a lawyer who is prepared to consider all angles and is not afraid to fight for your interests. We will walk you through your options and advise you on the merits of an appeal.

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Why Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors?

Highly Experienced

Decades of experience of criminal litigation mean that we know what should and should not happen in a criminal trial. We can review areas where you think that the judge or your previous legal team got it wrong.

Experts suited to your needs

We work with specialist counsel, who regularly appear in the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Supreme Court or European Court of Human Rights. We identify experts best suited to your individual case.

Lawyers who care

Our ethos of fighting injustice means that our lawyers take the time and effort on fresh evidence appeals, are innovative in legal challenges and leave no stone unturned in fighting your corner.

Frequently asked questions

How can I appeal a conviction or sentence on the magistrates’ court?

You have an automatic right to appeal against a conviction and/or sentence in the magistrates’ court. This means that you do not have to justify your decision to appeal. You are entitled to appeal because you disagree with the decision. An appeal form must be submitted within 21 days of the date of sentence, unless you can demonstrate good reason for submitting it outside of that time.

When appealing a decision of the magistrates’ court, the appeal will be dealt with in the Crown Court. When appealing a conviction from the magistrates’ court the Crown Court will hear all the evidence afresh. This means new and fresh evidence can be relied upon that was not used in the magistrates’ court.

When Crown Courts deal with appeals from the magistrates’ court there will not be a jury. The case will be dealt with by a Crown Court Judge and two magistrates.

Some decisions from the magistrates’ court can be appealed directly to the High Court by way of case stated or judicial review. This appeal procedure can be relied upon, for example where the magistrates’ court have made an error on the law.

Appealing a conviction or sentence in the Crown Court?

Appeals from the Crown Court are dealt with by the Criminal Court of Appeal. The procedure is very different when appealing a decision of the Crown Court, compared to a decision of the magistrates’ court.

The first step is identifying grounds of appeal. You can only appeal a conviction in the Crown Court if the Court of Appeal finds that the conviction was unsafe. Appeals against conviction from the Crown Court will normally arise where there has been an error in law or procedural unfairness. Below are some common issues that form the basis of an appeal against conviction:

  • Evidence is wrongly admitted or excluded
  • Ineffective legal representation
  • Errors in decisions made by the trial judge or the way the judge dealt with the case including the way that the evidence was summed up for the jury
  • In some cases, new evidence may give rise to an argument that the conviction was unsafe
  • You can appeal against a sentence in the Crown Court if it is manifestly excessive or in some other way unlawful.

Once grounds of appeal have been identified, an application for permission to appeal must be sent with a detailed description of the grounds of appeal. This is considered by a single judge of the Court of Appeal who will decide whether or not to grant permission to appeal. The application for permission to appeal must be submitted within 28 days of the decision being appealed.

In some cases the Court of Appeal may extend the deadline for submitting an application for permission to appeal, even where the deadline has passed. We understand that there may be many reasons that an appeal may need to be considered after the deadline has passed.

Criticising decisions of experienced Crown Court Judge’s or calling into question the representation provided by experience lawyers can be daunting. We will help you present difficult arguments in a professional manner.

Can I appeal my case to the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court replaced the House of Lords as the highest Court in the UK. Appeals from the High Court and Court of Appeal will be dealt with by the Supreme Court.

As in the Court of Appeal, permission must be sought to appeal to the Supreme Court. It will only be granted where the Court of Appeal certifies that a point of law of general public importance is involved in the decision and it appears to the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court that the point is one which ought to be considered by the Supreme Court. For this reason, decisions of the Supreme Court can change the way the law is applied.


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Featured Client Cases

Featured Case: R v G

Senior partner Nigel Richardson was instructed for a high profile appeal against conviction on behalf of a gin heir. He was convicted in the magistrates’ court of assaulting his 93 year old mother. His conviction was successfully overturned following an appeal to the Crown Court.

Featured Case: R v X

Senior partner Nigel Richardson acted on behalf of a man who had been convicted of raping his wife. An appeal was mounted on the basis of fresh evidence resulting in the conviction being successfully overturned and a re-trial being ordered. Following conviction at the second trial, a second appeal against appeal was lodged on the basis of the inadequacy of the Judge’s summing up. Once again the conviction successfully was overturned and no retrial ordered.

Featured Case: R v Y

Partner Gary Monks was instructed in the successful appeal against conviction of a man accused of sexually assaulting a young female relative while she was aged seven years old. Mr Monks worked closely with experienced counsel Ben Newton of Doughty Street Chambers to undertake a careful analysis of the language used by the trial Judge. This demonstrated that he had not dealt with the case impartially and then went on to misdirect the jury in relation to the evidence.

Featured Case: R v C

Partner Graeme Hydari instructed in a terrorism case before the Supreme Court dealing with the definition of the offence under section 4 of the Explosives Act 1883.

Featured Case: R v S

Associate Caroline Liggins was instructed to act on behalf of a man convicted of murder at the Old Bailey. Representation was transferred from another firm of solicitors after conviction, but before sentence. Ms Liggins stepped in at late notice and worked with experienced counsel to prepare mitigation. Our client received a sentence significantly lower than expected and Ms Liggins is now working on an appeal against conviction.

Featured Case: R v Stansted 15

Senior partner Raj Chada is acting in the high profile matter in Court of Appeal. Mr Raj Chada is representing the defendants who were convicted of terror related offences for taking direct action to prevent a charter flight from leaving. They took this action to prevent an immigration removal flight at Stansted airport. Raj Chada instructed Clare Montgomery QC in this complex appeal, dealing with international human rights law and the ambit of this terror related offence.

Featured Case: R v Z

Senior partner Raj Chada is instructed in this ground breaking appeal of a conviction of obstruction of a highway. This is another complex appeal in the Supreme Court dealing with ambit of article 10 and right to protest.

Leading Criminal Defence Solicitors

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Our top ranking team have years of experience representing the innocent. We stand up to the prosecution who will always be represented by an experienced solicitor or barrister. We know how to fight and win cases.

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    Our offices are open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.

    Phone:0808 231 6369
    Fax:020 7388 2106
    Address:Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors
    180 North Gower Street
    NW1 2NB