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Legal representation and prison sentences

Find answers to our most common queries on this page.

Our service is free

We do not charge anything so applying to us will not cost you any money.  Our service is free.

If you apply to us and your case is referred to the appeal court, the court cannot add to your sentence even if they turn down your appeal.

Can a prison sentence be increased if I apply to you?

A sentence cannot be increased if you apply to the CCRC. Also, a sentence cannot be increased if we send a case back to the appeal court.

Do I need a lawyer?

No, you do not need a lawyer to apply to us. If you fill out an application form and send it to us, we will look at your case. We will look into your case whether or not you are represented by a lawyer.

The case review process can involve complicated legal issues. A good lawyer can help you to understand these issues.

See our guidance for applicants’ legal representatives.

Will I get legal aid?

A solicitor may be able to get funding to help with your case under the Legal Aid scheme.

You can get advice about finding a lawyer by contacting Civil Legal Advice on 0845 345 4345.

Does the CCRC represent me?

The CCRC does not act as your lawyer. Our job is to look into your case independently. This means that we do not represent you, but it also means that we do not represent the police, the prosecution or anyone else. The CCRC is independent of everyone.

What will you do with my information?

If you apply to us we will use the information you give us to consider your case. This includes your personal information. This means that we may use the information you give us to get hold of material belonging to other organisations. This could be information about you.

It could be information about any other person. We will do this if we think it could have an impact on your case.

We have special legal powers get any material or information we need to look into a case.

We can get the information even if organisations or individuals do not want us to have it. We can get case related information from the police or the courts. We can get information from other places like the NHS and social services. Once we have started looking into a case we will decide what material we need.

We know how sensitive the information involved in our investigations can be. We always take great care of the information that we get when looking into cases. We try to get only what we need. We aim to keep the information only for as long as is reasonable.

We are very careful about how and when we share information about cases. We only share when it is allowed by the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 and the Data Protection Act 2018.

When a case is referred for an appeal by us, the information relevant to the appeal is usually shared. It is shared with the applicant, the appeal court, and the prosecution. When a case is referred for appeal, we usually issue a press release. The press release includes the reasons why it is being referred. We may also share information about the applicant with the Miscarriage of Justice Support Service which is a not-for-profit organisation that offers help to people who have been wrongly convicted.