This information should not be relied upon as legal or professional advice. Read the disclaimer.

It is important for a constituent to seek legal advice if they are considering an appeal. The Commons Library briefing Legal help: where to go and how to pay provides information about sources of legal help and advice.

Appeals from the magistrates’ court and appeals from the Crown Court in England and Wales have different rules, and there are different rules for appeals in Scotland. This page does not include the rules for Scotland.

Magistrates’ court

If a constituent pleaded not guilty, they may appeal to the Crown Court against a magistrates’ court conviction, sentence or both. Generally, if they pleaded guilty, they can only appeal against a magistrates’ court sentence.


Where the appeal is made within 15 business days of the relevant decision, no permission to appeal is required. Beyond this timeframe, the constituent must ask the Crown Court for permission to appeal.

Further information on the appeal process and procedure is available on the page, Appeal a magistrates’ court verdict.

Crown Court

A constituent may appeal against a Crown Court conviction, sentence or both. It does not matter if they pleaded guilty or not guilty


A constituent must apply for permission to appeal within 28 days of:

  • the date of the conviction, if the appeal is against the conviction
  • the date of the sentencing, if the appeal is against the sentence

It may be possible to get an extension for a late application.

Guidance on the appeal process and procedure may be found on the page, Appeal a Crown Court decision.

Further information about appeals from the Crown Court is available in these guides:

Criminal Cases Review Commission

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) is the independent public body set up to investigate possible miscarriages of justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The constituent should normally try to appeal through the court in the usual way before applying to the CCRC. Further information on this is available on the CCRC website

Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme

The Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme allows the public to ask the Attorney General to refer a sentence to the Court of Appeal for being too low. A separate Constituency Casework page offering further information on this is available.


The Commons Library does not intend the information in this article to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual. We have published it to support the work of MPs. You should not rely upon it as legal or professional advice, or as a substitute for it. We do not accept any liability whatsoever for any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein. You should consult a suitably qualified professional if you require specific advice or information. Read our briefing for information about sources of legal advice and help.