If you appeal from the Magistrates Court to the Crown Court, you are at risk of your sentence being changed either in your favour or against you.
When you appeal against your sentence from the Crown Court, this does not happen. The Court of Appeal, if permission to appeal is granted, will either reduce the sentence or uphold it. However, this doesn’t mean that appealing against sentence from the Crown Court isn’t without its risks.
The process for requesting permission to appeal is first applying to the Single Judge and then, if this is refused, appealing to the Full Court.
If the Single Judge refuses permission to appeal they can make what is known as a “loss of time order”.
A loss of time order means that when the order is made, any sentence served up to that point is deemed void and the sentence re-starts from that date. For example: if you are currently serving a 3-year sentence and the “loss of time order” is made after 8 months, then you start serving 3 years again from the date of the order, rather than the original 2 years and 4 months that was outstanding.
A Single Judge can make a loss of time order when refusing permission to appeal, or alternatively make the Full Court aware that if you go against the Single Judge’s decision, a loss of time order should be made by the Full Court.
If a Single Judge makes the Full Court aware then typically they will honour this, although they don’t have to. There’s an additional risk that even if the Single Judge doesn’t make a loss of time order or suggest one to the Full Court, the Full Court can still impose an order if they feel your grounds are spurious.
You should be aware that neither the Single Judge nor the Full Court have to make a loss of time order, but they are becoming increasingly popular by the Court of Appeal.
This can be a confusing process to understand and the potential risk is high, so it is important to seek legal advice in relation to this. Call us for free legal advice on 01623 397200.