MTM has long experience in this area of legal work and our Solicitor Advocates are active in the Court of Criminal Appeal. We represent many clients who have already been convicted and sentenced, and who come to us to mount an appeal. As with so many legal matters, it is absolutely imperative to take swift action. If someone has been convicted and wishes to appeal against their sentence then they should contact us immediately to get things started before it is too late.
Time is of the essence
In appeal work, time limits can be exceeded only in very unusual circumstances. It is therefore vital that a person who wishes to appeal against a conviction, sentence or both should make contact with MTM immediately as there are strict time limits in place. If you are late in trying to lodge your appeal it will almost always be refused simply on that basis, regardless of the merits of the appeal itself.
Each passing day matters
In summary cases (that is cases heard only before a Sheriff or a Justice of the Peace) a person has only seven days in which to appeal. In cases on Indictment (that is either before a Sheriff only if it is a plea of guilty, or after a Jury Trial) any appeal against sentence, or intention to appeal against conviction, must be lodged with the Court within 14 days.
Swift action called for in all cases
As experts in this type of work, MTM Defence Lawyers is swift to act. We can very often give initial advice over the telephone and appointments can be arranged, sometimes even within 24 hours, to take full instructions in relation to the appeal and to lodge the appropriate appeal document with the Court. MTM Defence Lawyers also has two Solicitor Advocates who are qualified to provide expert opinions in the prospects of success in appeal to deal with the other written formalities required in appeal work, and to provide representation at the Court of Criminal Appeal itself, which is the highest Court in Scotland.
Real and measurable results
The results of appeal work can be dramatic. Here are just a few examples of just what has and can be achieved for our clients:
- An eight-month prison sentence commuted to 200 hours community service in DSS fraud case. This was a direct result of the firm’s in-depth knowledge of recent sentencing guidelines in High Court cases
- Fines halved in the case of a client who had been previously convicted on stealing diesel from garages and driving without insurance
- A 60-day prison sentence quashed and substituted with a one-year probation period in respect of a theft charge. MTM’s appeal was based on the fact that the incident was outwith the pattern of the recent record of behaviour of the individual concerned
It should be remembered that success in such cases also has a direct positive influence on many other people – on family, particularly on dependants such as children whose wellbeing is directly related to having a parent around them. There are also issues relating to being employed and being able to provide for your family – again, appeal work is vital to such interests.
Legal aid and appeals
Legal aid is very often available for appeals. It is important to note that if you had legal aid in your original case then that will mean that you will automatically be entitled to legal aid for your appeal. In circumstances however where legal aid is not available then we are happy to discuss reasonable legal fees to undertake this work on your behalf at any time. We will only charge fees which we have agreed with you beforehand - consequently there will never be any large unexpected bills to pay.m