Have you been given a decision in a criminal or traffic matter in the Local Court that you think is unfair?
Most decisions in the Local Court have a right of appeal. Appeals can be on sentence, conviction or all grounds under section 11 of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act.
If the Local Court has refused your section 4 annulment application after considering section 8, then you have a right of appeal under section 11A. The Local Court transcript is required.
Sentence or severity appeals are when you appeal because you feel that the sentence or penalty was unfair. You are not saying that you were not guilty of the offence. The Local Court transcript is not required. These are often run at the first mention in accordance with the Practice Note and determined by rehearing on the evidence, although fresh evidence may be given. Determination under section 20(2) is by setting aside the sentence, varying the decision or dismissing the appeal. The best result you can get is a section 10 to avoid the conviction and subsequent penalty that flows from a conviction, including a licence disqualification.
Conviction appeals are when you feel you were incorrectly found guilty and convicted. You are maintaining that you are not guilty. A transcript of the Local Court proceedings will be required and can take 6 to 8 weeks. Confirmation this has been ordered by the Registrar should be done at the callover. The appeal will be heard with submissions from your legal representative on the Local Court transcript, unless you have also adduced fresh evidence. If you have fresh evidence that was not adduced in the Local Court, you must apply by notice of motion, which will be heard and determined prior to the substantive hearing. Determination under section 20(1) is by setting aside the conviction, dismissing the appeal or setting aside and reverting to the Local Court if there was a plea of guilty or you were convicted in your absence.
All ground appeals are both conviction and sentence. If you are unsuccessful in your conviction appeal, you can then still seek a reduction in the penalty.
Appeals must be made within 28 days of the Local Court decision under section 11(2)(a) or within 3 months with leave of the District Court under section 13(2). Decisions are usually delivered at the end of the appeal.
If you do appeal, there is a stay provided in section 63 until the appeal is heard, which means that for traffic offences you may be able to drive in the meantime, unless your licence was confiscated by police, which requires the court to decide on a stay.
Costs can also be awarded under section 72.
If you are unhappy with a decision of the Local Court, why not call me NOW for a FREE CONSULTATION to find out what your prospects of an appeal are.
Anthony Stewart, Solicitor