Sometimes, judges and magistrates make mistakes, and under Canadian law, there is a direct right of appeal in criminal cases. Our lawyers have represented countless criminal defendants in appeal proceedings over the last 15 years, and we may be able to represent you.
If you believe that a judge or magistrate made a legal error in your case, you should contact the criminal defence lawyers at Bourdon Defence today.
Different Types of Appeals
An appeal means that a higher-level court will review your case for any deficiencies—or errors of law—that may warrant overturning your conviction or reducing the sentence that you obtained upon conviction.
Canada recognizes two types of appeals. In a conviction appeal, the defendant is challenging the finding of guilt, while in a sentence appeal, the defendant is only challenging the criminal sentence that was imposed following the criminal conviction. Both types of appeal may proceed together, just as if they were a single appeal.
Generally, conviction appeals are a bigger deal than sentence appeals and entail more time and more money. If the defendant files a conviction appeal, there is very little downside to also appealing the criminal sentence that was imposed.
Following a conviction appeal, if the appeals court determines that a judge made an error of law during the trial that would have affected the outcome of that trial (i.e., it was not a “harmless error”), the court will set aside the conviction by either issuing a judgment of acquittal or ordering a new trial. If the appeals court finds that the trial judge did not make any legal errors, then it will dismiss the appeal and the original conviction will stand.
Following a sentence appeal, if the court finds that the sentence imposed by the trial judge was too harsh, it may substitute a different sentence that includes one of the following:
- Shorter jail term;
- Conversion of a jail term into a period of house arrest; or
- Removal or variation of a restitution or driving prohibition order.
The chances of prevailing on appeal are much more likely if you have a knowledgeable criminal defence lawyer representing you throughout the entire appeals process, as well as in court.
Contact a Calgary Criminal Defence Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
Appeals can be difficult and time consuming. However, you stand a much better chance of prevailing on appeal if you are represented by legal counsel throughout the entire process. If you are considering filing a criminal appeal, you should not delay in seeking legal representation, as time may be of the essence. Under Canadian law, a notice of appeal in a criminal case must be filed no later than 30 days from the date on which the court imposed the criminal sentence.
The lawyers at Bourdon Defence are ready and willing to represent you during your criminal appeal proceedings. To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a Calgary criminal defence lawyer, please call us today at (403) 474-4143 or contact us online.