If you feel that your loved one has been wrongly convicted, you have the right to hire a criminal appeals barrister to appeal the conviction. You should first have your barrister ascertain if there are any grounds for appeal. If he/she decides that there is good grounds, then the barrister will draft an appeal for you. It is then left to you to decide if you want to use the same lawyers services or another for your appeal.
You have 28 days from the date of the conviction to file an appeal. There are exceptions on the time limit if the reasons provided for the exception are good. Your barrister submits the grounds of appeal draft along with the Notice of Grounds form to the crown court where you were convicted.
The application is then forwarded to Londons appellate court where a single appeal judge filters out the unsuccessful applications with written reasons for the decision. No hearing is conducted at this stage. The decisions taken are based on the submitted documents which includes the notice and grounds of appeal, the trial papers, the original convictions transcript and any advice the appeal provided. This is why you need to hire efficient criminal appeals barristers with a proven track record to ensure the judge grants the leave to appeal.
The granted leave to appeal is then moved to the Full Court, where it is heard. New witnesses may be called for evidence and based on this, the Full Court decides whether to grant or refuse the application. The conviction may be quashed or a retrial be ordered for granted appeals. In case the appeal is against sentencing, there is a chance of the sentence being reduced like the convicted being charged for manslaughter instead of murder.
There are cases where the leave to appeal may get rejected by a single judge. In such cases, you can move the appeal to the Full Court. However as harsh penalties may get levied if the Full Court ultimately refuses the appeal, this option has to be considered and opted for with extreme care. There is the risk of receiving a penalty where the time already spent in custody may not be counted as part of the original sentencing. This implies that the convict has to start the sentence afresh.
So all this proves that the choice of the right criminal appeals barristers decides if the conviction gets successfully overturned, or if the sentence is reduced.