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A criminal case lost at trial is not always the end of litigation. If you’ve been convicted of a crime, you can appeal your conviction with the help of expert legal representation. Conducting an appeal requires both written and oral argument and may even require an application for bail pending appeal. There are important and strict filing deadlines, so call us immediately if you want to appeal a conviction or sentencing decision.

Appeals and requests for bail come with strict time limits, complicated procedural requirements, and complex legal issues. The process requires a careful review of your case to uncover any legal errors and ensure that the court procedure was followed. Our legal team has a deep knowledge of the law combined with rigorous attention to detail to handle every step of the appellate process, which is designed to ensure that the trial was fair and that the law was exercised correctly.

The Court of Appeal can decide to dismiss the appeal, order a new trial, uphold the decision, acquit you, or change the sentence that was originally imposed. At Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence Firm, we leave no stone unturned when reviewing your case. Our meticulous attention to detail and expertise in criminal law allows us to recognize when your rights are violated and identify issues in your case. Your defence team advocates for you, navigating your legal matters and consulting with your previous trial lawyer to achieve the best results possible.


1. What is an Appeal?

Occasionally an accused is convicted or improperly sentenced due to errors committed by a Judge, Crown counsel or even his/her Defence lawyer. In these cases, an accused can apply to an appeals Court to have their conviction overturned or sentence varied.

In cases where, in the Crown’s view, an individual was improperly acquitted or given too low of a sentence by a Judge, the Crown Prosecutor can also apply to an appellate Court to have the acquittal overturned or the sentence varied.

Conducting an appeal requires both written and oral argument and may even require an application for bail pending the outcome of your appeal. Your lawyer at Roulston Urquhart Criminal Defence will walk you through the necessary steps to be taken in responding to an appeal.

2. Can I be released on bail if I am appealing a decision?

An application can be made for your release pending your appeal. There are a number of factors that the appellant level court must consider in deciding whether you are an appropriate candidate for release. These factors include the strength of your ground(s) of appeal, whether you will surrender yourself into custody on the date of your appeal hearing, and whether your release is not contrary to the public interest.

3. When can I appeal a decision?

You have 30 days from the date you were convicted/sentenced to file a notice of appeal. It is crucial to consult with counsel immediately after you are convicted/sentenced in order to begin the appeal process. A failure to do so may result in you not being able to appeal your matter.

4. Where will my appeal be heard?

A higher level Court (either the Court of Queen’s Bench or the Court of Appeal) will assess whether or not an error was made during your trial or sentencing hearing that justifies the remedy you seek. Whether your matter is heard at the Court of Queen’s Bench or the Court of Appeal depends on the type of crime you allegedly committed, the manner in which the Crown has proceeded on your matter, either summarily or by indictment, and/or whether your trial or sentencing was originally heard in the Provincial Court or the Court of Queen’s Bench. Speak to your counsel about the location of your appeal as it will depend on your individual case and other factors.

Recently won cases

R. v. R.H Alberta Court of Appeal

Client appealed conviction on 2 counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder.  The basis of the appeal was the non-disclosure of a statement, made by the key crown witness while he was in custody of the RCMP in Saskatchewan, where he confessed to being a shooter at the Bolsa Restaurant.

Result:  The Crown conceded the appeal, the Court of Appeal overturned the conviction, and a new trial was ordered.

R. v. A.G. Alberta Court of Appeal

A.G. appealed conviction for attempting to obstruct justice pursuant to s 139(2) of the Criminal Code.  Ms. Urquhart argued that the trial judge incorrectly admitted and relied upon a Facebook message (a prior consistent statement) to convict A.G. 

Result: Crown conceded appeal.  The Court of Appeal overturned the conviction and entered an acquittal.