If you have been convicted and sentenced for a criminal offence and are unhappy with the result, you might want to appeal.

Find out:

  • What it means to appeal your conviction or sentence
  • When you can appeal
  • The time limits for appeal
  • The possible outcomes from an appeal

What is a criminal appeal?

A criminal appeal is when you ask the Supreme Court to review your conviction or your sentence, or both. You have to explain the reasons you say the conviction or sentence should be reviewed.

When can I appeal my conviction or sentence?

You can’t just appeal because you think your conviction or sentence was unfair. To win your appeal, you need to show a ground of appeal that is accepted by law. You should get legal advice about this as soon as possible. 

What are the time limits for appealing my conviction or sentence?

An appeal against a Magistrates Court decision must be made within 28 days of the date of the decision or sentencing (whichever is later).  An appeal against a decision of the District Court or Supreme Court must be made within 21 days of the date of the decision or sentencing (whichever is later). If you are late lodging your appeal, you will need to ask the Supreme Court to let you lodge your appeal outside of time.

What can the appeal court do?

The options for the appeal court when deciding your case are to:

  • allow your appeal
  • dismiss your appeal
  • set aside or vary the original court decision
  • substitute another decision
  • send your case back to be dealt with again
  • make any other order that is necessary.

If you are appealing a Magistrates Court decision and the appeal court dismisses your appeal, then you may be required to pay court costs.



Legal Aid WA has self-help kits for people wanting to appeal against a conviction or sentence imposed for a criminal charge. 


Reviewed: 3 May 2018

Appealing on your own?

A guide to help you with criminal appeals against conviction or penalty.


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.