Tod and Mitchell specialise in all aspects of criminal defence work and regularly appear in criminal courts throughout Scotland dealing with cases in the High Court of Justiciary, the Sheriff Court and the Justice of the Peace Court.
Why use us?
Tod and Mitchell and our team of highly respected and experienced solicitors are well-known for our professional approach, vast knowledge of law and high percentage of case wins. Our head office is based in Paisley giving us the perfect central location for working with clients attending courts in Glasgow, Paisley, Dumbarton, Greenock and many more courts across Scotland.
Criminal Appeals Solicitors Dumbarton
Unfortunately, there are occasions when people are convicted of crimes they did not commit or made the subject of sentences which are unduly harsh.
We regularly advise clients who have been the victims of miscarriages of justice in relation to appealing against their conviction or sentence.
Our team of solicitors is often instructed in relation to appeals from the Justice of the Peace Court, the Summary Sheriff Court, the Solemn Sheriff Court and the High Court of Justiciary. We have an in-depth knowledge of appeal procedure and have close links with Edinburgh agents who provide specialist support in relation to the smooth running of your appeal.
We are happy to meet with you at our office or attend any prison in Scotland to discuss the possibility of an appeal against conviction or sentence. It is important that you contact us immediately if you require advice in connection with an appeal as very strict time limits apply.
We are registered with the Scottish Legal Aid Board and we will be able to assist you in applying for legal aid to fund the cost of your appeal.
Someone who has been convicted in Scotland can appeal against conviction and/or sentence on the grounds that a miscarriage of justice has occurred.
There are a number of ways to establish that there has been a miscarriage of justice, for example when there has been insufficient evidence or a misdirection to the jury by the trial Judge. If “fresh” evidence comes to light that can also be relied upon as a ground of appeal.
A miscarriage of justice in relation to sentence applies when a sentence is incompetent, inappropriate or excessive.
In a solemn case, (which is any case conducted at the High Court of Justiciary or any case at Sheriff and Jury level), the appeal procedure is started by the lodging of a Notice of Intention to Appeal in appeals against conviction or appeals against conviction and sentence. This must be done within two weeks of the disposal of the case. If the appeal is just against sentence then a Note of Appeal including a statement of all the grounds of appeal must be lodged within two weeks of the sentence.
In order to proceed to a full appeal hearing, permission is required from a single Judge of the High Court or if that is refused, permission from a quorum of at least three Judges in an appeal against conviction or two Judges in relation to an appeal against sentence. Leave to appeal will be granted if the grounds of appeal are “arguable”.
In summary proceedings, at Justice of the Peace level or Sheriff Court level (where there is no jury involved) the most common types of appeal are Stated Case appeals against conviction, Bills of Suspension and Bills of Advocation.
Bills of Suspension are ordinarily used to challenge final decisions of the Sheriff or Magistrate in cases where there is usually a single issue of competency involved.
Bills of Advocation are used to challenge decisions made by the Sheriff or the Magistrate before the final determination of the case where there has been an exceptional procedural irregularity.
By far the most common method of appeal against conviction at summary level is appeal by way of Stated Case. An appeal by Stated Case must be intimated within one week of the final determination of the case.
In certain circumstances, an extension of the time limits within which appeals may be lodged can be granted. Therefore, if you have missed the appeal time limits please contact us for advice as it may still be possible to proceed with your appeal.
Our solicitors are extremely experienced in all types of criminal appeal indeed, many of our successful appeals are now often referred to as legal authorities as they have created legal precedent.
If you have exhausted all of the appeal procedures, and you believe that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred in respect of your conviction, sentence or both, then it is possible to apply to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission who will thoroughly and impartially review your case before taking a decision on whether or not it should be referred to the High Court.
At Tod and Mitchell we will provide you with advice and support to try and ensure that you are satisfied that justice has been achieved in your case.