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What you should know if you have been served with a Notice of Appeal
The Crown can appeal an acquittal
 
In Canada, unlike in the United States, the Crown can appeal an acquittal (a finding of not guilty at trial). It can also appeal a sentence imposed after conviction (whether at trial or on a guilty plea).
 
The Crown’s ability to appeal is strictly limited by law and therefore exercised very rarely and only after a thorough internal screening process. This means that if you have been served with a Notice of Appeal by the Crown, there is likely a strong legal basis for it. 
 
Do I need to apply for bail again?
 
If the Crown is appealing against your acquittal, you still stand acquitted until the appeal court orders otherwise. In other words, there are no charges actively pending, so you do not need to go through the process of getting bail. You should still, however, contact a criminal lawyer - preferably one with expertise in appeals - right away. If you or a lawyer on your behalf does not respond to the Crown’s Notice, the appeal will be scheduled, heard and determined by the appeal court without your input or that of a lawyer who can defend the case on your behalf.
 
What happens if the Crown wins the appeal?

If, on an appeal against acquittal, the Crown convinces the appeal court that there was a legal error in the trial serious enough to have affected the verdict, the appeal court may do one of two things: (1) send the case back to the trial court for a new trial to determine the charges again; or (2) substitute a conviction for the acquittal, which means that there is no new trial, you have been found guilty, and will be sentenced for the offence.

What if the Crown is appealing my sentence?
 
If you were convicted in the original court and have been served with a Notice of Appeal Against Sentence, it means that the Crown is seeking more jail time and/or stricter conditions. While the appeal is pending (that is, before the case has been heard and decided by the appeal court), you will continue to serve the original sentence imposed.

The Crown rarely appeals...
 
The important thing to remember is that a Crown Appeal is a rare event. As such, you can be sure that the lawyer representing the prosecution on a Crown appeal will be extremely vigilant in pursuing the appeal. You should also know that the Crown has a large contingent of lawyers specifically dedicated to appeals who are among the most effective and experienced criminal appeal lawyers in the country.
 
... so you need an appeal expert
 
If you do not have the same level of expertise on your side to defend against the Crown’s appeal, you will be at a distinct disadvantage. Considering what is at stake, can you afford to take that risk?
 
 
Learn more

Contact me for a free consultation on your appeal matter, or read on for more information about the appeal process, my practice and the need to have an experienced appeal lawyer working for you.

 The information provided in this website is intended for general purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice on your specific case.
Consult a licensed professional to discuss the circumstances of your particular case.
 
416.357.5575     yuen@criminallawappeals.ca 
 
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