Over 2% of prisoners are wrongfully convicted.

Don’t allow incompetence or injustice result in your imprisonment. Contact Garde Wilson lawyers and find the fairness you’re after.

Being wrongfully found guilty of a criminal charge is a harrowing experience, and new rules put into effect in July 2021 impose new criteria on appeal applications – making it harder than ever before to appeal a conviction.

Garde Wilson Lawyers are criminal appeal experts, with decades’ of experience picking up cases in Melbourne and around Australia, where other lawyers have failed or where judges and juries have made grave errors of judgement.

Our team possesses an unmatched knowledge of criminal law procedure, providing you every possible opportunity to obtain a leave to appeal and then have your conviction successfully overturned.

If you are dissatisfied with your last Melbourne criminal lawyer’s efforts and didn’t get the outcome you deserved, Garde Wilson Lawyers can offer accurate legal advice about your changes of appeal and provide powerful representation in court.

What is a Conviction Appeal in Victoria?

An appeal against conviction is made when due to poor representation or judicial error, you have been found guilty by a Melbourne court of a criminal charge. In making an appeal of this kind, you are requesting the court re-examine the decision made by the original judge or jury in order to have the conviction overturned.

To be successful, an appeal against conviction must show:

  • A jury’s verdict is unreasonable and cannot be supported with regard to the evidence, or
  • There has been a serious miscarriage of justice causing the fairness of the trail to be compromised.

Due to the recently enacted amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act 2009 (Vic), a raft of new rules and procedures has changed how convictions against appeal are done.

To start with, appeal cases heard in the County Court are no longer reheard from the beginning and new evidence may only be considered where the court determines it to be in the interests of justice.

Instead of hearing cases again in their totality, County and Supreme Courts will rely on transcripts of evidence, submissions made during the original hearing, and the Summary of Appeal Notice which contains the grounds for making the appeal.

Examination, cross-examination or calling new witnesses, and introducing new evidence will only be permitted once permission has been granted by the court. Leave will only be granted by the court if the court is satisfied it is the interests of justice to do so.

Conviction Appeals from the Magistrates Court to the County Court

The process of applying for leave to appeal against conviction from the Magistrates Court to the County Court is essentially the same as that of an appeal against sentence.

Once convicted, you have 28 days to lodge a ‘Notice to Appeal’ under section 255 of the Criminal Procedure Act. Similarly, if an appeal is made after 28 days have lapsed, leave to appeal can still obtained where the reasons offered for requiring leave to appeal out of time are valid and sufficiently exceptional.

Within 7 days of lodging the ‘Notice to Appeal’, the informant (the police officer who initiated the original charges) must be notified of the application for appeal.

Once the ‘Notice to Appeal’ has been submitted, a ‘Summary of Appeal’ detailing the reasons and arguments supporting your appeal.

If the County Court decides there are sufficient grounds for you appeal, and a fair chance of a conviction appeal being successful, your case will be re-examined under the new rules for conviction appeals explained above.

Conviction Appeals from the County Court or Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal

Normally, an appeal against conviction made by the County Court or Supreme Court is made to the Court of Appeal. While appeals against conviction to the Court of Appeal are difficult to obtain, it may be granted where:

  • Evidence was admitted when it should have been excluded, or deemed inadmissible when it should have been included.
  • The judge misdirected the jury about the law.
  • The jury reached a verdict which is not reasonably supported by the evidence.
  • The incompetence or negligence of your lawyer resulted in a miscarriage of justice.
  • Important new evidence is discovered which was not considered in the original case.

Since the bar for obtaining and grant for appeal has been raised considerably, the Court of Appeal will only grant an application to appeal against conviction where a sufficient chance of success is present.


How Do I Apply For an Appeal Against Conviction?

While the new changes to criminal appeals procedure have streamlined and accelerated the appeals process, it means fewer appeals against conviction will be heard.

The pass the application process, you need an experienced lawyer with deep knowledge of criminal law procedure and courtroom experience to pinpoint possible errors in judgement, and accurately identify where miscarriage of justice has occurred.

Garde Wilson Lawyers have successfully fought for clients across Greater Melbourne and around Australia, preventing wrongful convictions and restoring freedom to our clients.

If you’ve suffered from poor legal representation or believe you are the victim of a miscarriage of justice, contact Garde Wilson Lawyers immediately on 03 9098 8648 for an accurate appraisal of your chances of appeal.


If you’ve been wrongly convicted of a criminal charge, contact Garde Wilson Lawyers immediately to discuss how we can protect your freedom and ensure justice for you.


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