3 - My rights after trial

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Can I appeal against the ruling?

Only the convicted person or the prosecution can appeal a verdict.

Prosecution appeals can only be made in certain circumstances. The prosecution can:

  • Appeal against an acquittal - a verdict of 'not guilty' or 'not proven' - but only in summary cases (trials without a jury) and only on a point of law.
  • Appeal against the sentence - but only where a sentence is regarded as 'unduly lenient'

You can find out more information by visiting Link opens in new windowhttps://www.mygov.scot/after-the-verdict/the-appeals-process/

What are my rights after sentencing?

After a guilty verdict, your victim statement may be taken into consideration by the judge considering the sentence which is to be imposed.

If the result of the case (known as the verdict) was not what you expected, or feel you need some support after the verdict, there are lots of organisations that can help you. Victim Support Scotland has a hotline which operates Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm. They are a national charity that supports people affected by crime across Scotland, regardless of the type of crime they have suffered. You can contact them on 0345 603 9213. The support they provide is free.

There are a number of other organisations including specialist services, that are able to provide free confidential emotional support, practical help and essential information to victims, witnesses and others affected by crime. Information on these services can be found Link opens in new windowhere.

Am I entitled to support or protection after the trial? For how long?

Yes, there are a number of victim support organisations who can offer support before, during and after the trial which are free. Victim Support Scotland, which is a national charity offer emotional support, practical help and essential information to victims. These services are free and confidential.

What information will I be given if the offender is sentenced?

If you made a victim statement it may be considered when the judge decides the sentence. After a guilty verdict, the judge has to decide what punishment to give to the offender. This punishment is called a sentence. The judge makes this decision after hearing all the evidence and taking account of any background information. This includes things such as the offender's age, any medical issues and whether they already have a criminal record. The judge can choose what sentence to give from a range of option.

Further information on sentencing can be found Link opens in new windowhere.

You have the right to request information on the final decision of the court in a trial and any reasons for it. This information can be requested from the Link opens in new windowScottish Courts and Tribunals Service.

Will I be told if the offender is released (including early or conditional release) or escapes from prison?

In all criminal cases, victims have a right to get information about the release of a prisoner. They may also have a right to be told when the prisoner is considered for parole and to make written representations (comments) about their release to the Parole Board for Scotland. This is called the Link opens in new windowVictims Notification Scheme.

Victims of offenders sentenced to less than 18 months are entitled to know only of the release or escape of the offender. If you would like to receive this information you do not have to register with the scheme, you can simply contact the Link opens in new windowScottish Prison Service.

Will I be involved in release or parole decisions? For example, can I make a statement or lodge an appeal?

You may be able to make representations to the Parole Board for Scotland for consideration in situations where the offender is being considered for release on license. Victims who register under Part 2 of the scheme can register to make written representations to the Scottish Prison Service when the offender first becomes eligible for temporary release and release on Home Detention Curfew; and to the Parole Board for Scotland when the offender is being considered for release on parole license. Victim Support Scotland may be able to help you prepare your representations.


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Last update: 17/05/2019