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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Is it possible to appeal against a conviction if I have pleaded

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Is it possible to appeal against a conviction if I have pleaded guilty.I did this on the advice of a barrister but it doesn't sit right with me. The cost of pleading not guilty is key consideration.
When did you plead guilty?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
last week, due to go to court for sentencing next Monday.
You can try to get the plea vacated but it is always difficult when you have entered it on legal advice.What sometimes works though is to tell probation that you dispute the offence during the pre sentence report interview and then it is vacated automatically.That said, you do have an automatic right of appeal to the Crown Court if this was a guilty plea at the Magistrates Court. The fact of the guilty plea will be used against you but nobody can stop you appealing.I would try to get it vacated first.Can I clarify anything for you?Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In hindsight the conversation should have been reported but it seems that it has only come to the level of a criminal proceeding because the prison has a drug problem that is in the media etc. However I took nothing into the prison. The conversation was off hand. There are other circumstances that prelude to it being a scapegoat issue. It was at crown court as it does not come under the jurisdiction of the magistrates court.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What is the average cost of a crown court appeal and will it go against me if I plead not guilty and then were to be found guilty at the appeal in terms of sentencing.
Around £400-£600.Yes, you will lose credit if you are convicted after trial I'm afraid .
Sorry, I misread the offence. If this is misconduct in public office then that is indictable only.The only way to get that reopened is to get the court to vacate the guilty plea.
You can appeal the plea to the Court of Appeal but you are not raising grounds here. It was just a bad decision under pressure. It was not one that is a proper ground of appeal.
To be wholly honest though, if you accept hearing this conversation and didn't report it then the chances of conviction are high i'm afraid.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Presumably that is the cost of lodging the appeal only not the average cost of going to trial. The grounds would be that there was no credibility to what the prisoner said. Can we find out if this prisoner was prosecuted for the information he divulged. If he wasn't could that be used as a defence that in fact the information was not credible and my judgement therefore was sound. Are we able to find out about prosecutions to existing inmates using the freedom of information act?
The appeal falls away if this is a misconduct in public office.The only challenge would be to vacate the guilty plea which should not lead to costs.You could ask for that information in disclosure if you are able to contest the matter to trial.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If I stay with the guilty plea am I still able to find out this information regarding the consequences for the prisoner under the freedom of information act
No, they won't grant it. They will say it is exempted information.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
so there is absolutely no way of finding out what happened to the prisoner? If no action was taken by the police against him then he was lying. Is that not a vindication of the defence that the information was not interpreted or perceived to be credible
No, not unless it is relevant to your defence I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Could a solicitor request that disclosure now?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It would be a huge factor as to whether I vacated the guilty plea as it would give my defence credibility. Would it not have been automatically divulged as part of the initial disclosure request by my solicitors
No, for the reasons above.It isn't going to be disclosed I'm afraid unless you are running a defence.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Once the case is over and I have been sentenced am I or anyone else allowed to find out this information as a matter of interest
No, they won't grant it. They will say it is exempted information.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What are the chance of a suspended sentence. 13 years service to public sector including 8 years in military, Family man with two kids and first misdemeanour.
The trouble with good character with this type of offence is that it isn't particularly helpful. In fact it is almost an aggravating feature because it is their good character that allows people to commit these offences. The way to phrase it in mitigation is to say that it was something completely out of character.It is possible that you would get a suspended sentence but I couldnt guarantee it. It would dependent really what was the effect of your failure to report this. If it lead to hordes of drugs coming into prison then that would aggravate it. If the Crown are silent on the point then you would be able to take advantage of that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The drugs haul had already been foiled which is why I paid no attention to the information because I perceived it to be after the event, Are there any other things that are helpful to bring up at probation interview
The best point in your favour is that you didn't think it was credible.They will not identify any factors that render you a risk of reoffending. It was just a bad decision under pressure.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is the probation interview and subsequent report the most important factor. Will the crown put an opposing argument at the sentencing or will the judge just use the information already available to him
The Crown should just set out the facts.Probation will probably try to downplay this. They often don't appreciate the seriousness of offences like this.The Judge will take on board the PSR but will ignore it if it isn't sensible.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Are character testimonies valuable as we have many and there are common themes running throughout , not orchestrated but by confidence.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
meant by coincidence
Opinion is divided on that. I have never found them very useful save for a limited number of exceptions but there are people who think they are wonderful.I would gather them just to be on the safe side. You don't have to use them.If your employers were willing to confirm that you were generally reliable then that would help.
Jo C. and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is it possible to appeal against a dismissal at an employment tribunal even after a criminal conviction as it would still be a first offence