Defence Appeal

An offender has the right to appeal against their conviction (guilty verdict) and/or the length of their sentence. They have 28 days from the date they are sentenced to lodge an appeal but in certain circumstances they may be able to get an extension of time.

DPP Appeal

If the DPP believes that a sentence is too low, the DPP may appeal against the length of that sentence. The sentence must be considered by the DPP to be 'manifestly inadequate'. 

The DPP is not able to appeal against a not-guilty verdict.

Court of Appeal Hearings

Appeal hearings take place in the Court of Appeal, which is the highest court in Victoria.

The possible results of an appeal by the convicted offender against sentence are that:

  • the appeal is dismissed and the sentence stands
  • the appeal is dismissed and the sentence is increased
  • the appeal is allowed and the sentence is reduced.

The possible results of an appeal against conviction are that:

  • the appeal is dismissed and the conviction stands
  • the appeal is allowed. If this happens the judge can order a re-trial or, if there is a substantial miscarriage of justice, the judge may set aside the conviction.

If you are a victim in the matter, you will be told by someone from the prosecution – the police informant, Office of Public Prosecutions' (OPP) solicitor or the Witness Assistance Service (WAS) worker – if the offender has lodged an appeal against their conviction and/or sentence. Witnesses may also be informed of the decision to appeal. You will also be told the date of any hearings and the results of the appeal, unless you have indicated that you do not wish to be so informed. 

If a retrial is ordered, you will be told about this by the OPP solicitor or the WAS worker.

They will confirm with you the date and time of the second trial. If you were a witness at the first trial, it is possible that you will be called to give evidence again. A second trial will not occur in the case of an acquittal.

If you have any questions about the appeals process you can ask the OPP solicitor or contact the Witness Assistance Service on 1800 641 927 or 9603 7425.

More about the Court Process