Appeal in criminal cases

Appeal in criminal cases

Who can appeal a criminal judgment?

All parties who were involved in the criminal proceedings can appeal in case they disagree with the judge’s verdict. These are the accused and the civil liable party, but the public prosecutor can also appeal.

The victim, known as the civil party, can also file an appeal. However, a civil party can only lodge an appeal regarding the civil claim and not regarding the penalty imposed.

How to file an appeal?

An appeal must always be lodged by a statement at the registry of the court that delivered the judgment. This will be the clerk’s office of the police court or the clerk’s office of the correctional court, depending on which court passed sentence.

A grievance form should also be completed and attached to the appeal. This should accurately list the reasons why the first verdict should be amended. This is therefore a mandatory statement of the reasons for the appeal.

How much time is there to file an appeal?

The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the judgment.

However, in the case of a judgment in absentia, the 30-day period starts only after service of the judgment by the court bailiff on the convicted person or his residence.

The prosecution has an additional period of 10 days to file an appeal, after the defendant or civilly liable party has filed an appeal.

Unlike before, the accused and the civilly liable party now also get an additional 10 days to file their own appeal after an appeal by the public prosecutor.

The victim is also given an additional period of 10 days if an appeal is lodged against the civil party.

If an appeal is not lodged in time, the possibility of appeal lapses and the judgment becomes final.

Is the first judgment already enforceable despite an appeal?

The enforcement of a judgement is suspended while the appeal period is still running and remains suspended as soon as an appeal has been lodged and throughout the entire appeal procedure.

Which court will hear the appeal case?

In police cases, the appeal against a judgement of the police court will be heard by the correctional court.

Appeals against a verdict of the correctional court will be heard by the court of appeal.


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We will review with you the possibilities of resubmitting your case to the appellate court.