I don’t agree with my provincial offences trial. Can I appeal?

4. Prepare for your appeal

To get ready for your appeal hearing you should:

  • Understand the law that applies to your case.
  • Review all the documents, including the trial transcript if you have ordered one.
  • Make a list of the points or arguments you want to make.
  • Think about the arguments the prosecutor might make in response to your appeal.
  • Think about questions that the judge might ask and prepare draft responses.
  • Arrange for witnesses, if you’re going to ask to present fresh or new evidence.

Some of these steps are similar to what you would have done to prepare for your trial.

New evidence

You usually cannot introduce new evidence, called fresh evidence, and there are no witnesses allowed on an appeal. Instead, the appeal judge will review the evidence and oral arguments that were presented at the Provincial Offences Court trial and make their decision based on this information.

However, sometimes an appeal judge will permit fresh evidence.

If you want to introduce fresh evidence, you must explain to the judge:

  • what the new evidence is
  • what difference this evidence will make
  • whether the new evidence was available at your first trial, and if it was available, why you didn’t introduce it at that time

You should bring 3 copies of the new evidence with you to the appeal hearing: one for you, the court, and the prosecution.

Order the transcript of court proceedings, if required

A transcript is a typed record of your trial, prepared by an authorized court transcriptionist.

If you’re asking for an appeal, you’re responsible for ordering and paying for 3 copies of the transcript. You will need to give a copy to the prosecutor and file a copy with the appeal court before your hearing date.

For Part I and II offences under the Provincial Offences Act, a transcript is only required if the judge orders it. For Part III offences, you must provide a transcript.

In some places transcripts are not required. Instead, at your appeal, a tape of the trial is played. Check with the court staff when you file your appeal to know what the local requirement is.

File a factum, if required

A factum is a written document with the facts of your situation and the law and the arguments that you will make during the appeal.

Factums are not required for Part I and II offences and are only required for Part III offences if a judge orders it.

If you’re representing yourself, it is unlikely that a judge will order you to file a factum, but if they do, you should get legal help.

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