If you have been convicted of a criminal offence and wish to appeal that conviction or the penalty imposed, you can apply for a legal aid certificate. The application is usually made to the court before which you have been convicted. If the application is refused in that court you can still get the certificate by applying to the court in which your appeal is to be heard.
There are two ways of apply to the appeal court:
- By sending a letter to the registrar of the court stating the facts of the case and the grounds for your appeal
- By applying directly to the court itself
To be eligible for the certificate the conviction must be for murder, or the court must be satisfied that due to the serious nature of the offence it is necessary, in the interests of justice, that you should have legal aid.
The certificate entitles you to a solicitor. If the appeal is to the Court of Appeal, however, you are also entitled to a barrister.