Things You Should Know About Appealing a Criminal Conviction in BC

Written by Jerry Steele

Criminal Defence

Things You Should Know About Appealing a Criminal Conviction in BC

Written by Jerry Steele

Criminal Defence
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For more than 20 years, Steele Law has successfully guided individuals and business entities through the unique challenges posed by criminal and regulatory investigations, as well as prosecutions in state and federal courts nationwide.
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Don’t lose hope if you’ve been found guilty of a criminal conviction in BC. There are still options available to potentially overturn the conviction and clear your name. One of these options is appealing the conviction.

Understanding Appeals for Criminal Convictions in Canada

An appeal is a legal process that allows a higher court in Canada to review a decision a lower court makes. In the case of a criminal conviction, this means asking a higher court to reconsider the verdict and possibly make changes to it.

Provincial and territorial superior courts hear the most extreme cases, and in the event of an appeal, it will go to the Provincial/Territorial Courts of Appeal. In the case of Federal court, appeals go to the Federal Court of Appeal for review. 

Beyond these two courts of appeal, there is one final option if your appeal is denied: the Supreme Court of Canada. 

The Canadian Supreme Court selectively accepts cases of national significance or those concerning legal gray areas. The appellate court’s ruling remains final if a case isn’t accepted. However, suppose the Supreme Court does take on a case. In that case, it holds the authority to overturn or modify the lower court’s decision, mandate a retrial or rehearing, or affirm the appellate court’s ruling. 

Why You Should Consider Appealing a Criminal Conviction

If you’re innocent but found guilty, you may feel that appealing the conviction is your only chance to clear your name. However, there are other reasons why you should consider appealing a criminal conviction:

  • The sentence was too harsh: You may believe the punishment for the crime was excessive or unjustified.
  • Evidence came to light after the trial: New evidence can emerge after a trial that could potentially change the outcome if presented to a higher court.
  • Legal errors were made during the trial: Mistakes made by the judge or the prosecution during your trial could potentially invalidate the decision and warrant an appeal.
  • Prejudice or bias affected the outcome: If you believe your case was unfairly influenced by prejudice or bias, you may have grounds for an appeal. 

The Appeal Process in BC

If you’re found guilty of criminal charges in BC provincial court, your first avenue of appeal is the BC Court of Appeal. 

If they deny your appeal and you wish to appeal a decision from the BC Court of Appeal, your next option is to seek leave to appeal from the Supreme Court of Canada. However, this court only hears a small number of cases each year and will only grant leave if your case raises an issue of national importance or there has been an error in law.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Appealing a criminal conviction is a complex process requiring strong legal representation. 

No matter what kind of criminal conviction you want to appeal, Jerry Steele is the BC criminal defence lawyer you want by your side. His extensive experience has given him the knowledge and skills to navigate the BC appeal process effectively and fight for your rights. He will thoroughly review your case and develop a robust legal strategy to increase your chances of success.

Don’t let an unfair conviction define your future. Contact Jerry Steele today at 778-700-0012 for a free consultation and see how he can help you appeal your criminal conviction in BC.