If you are found guilty of an offence in the Local Court of NSW, you may appeal the decision to the District Court of NSW, either on the grounds of the severity of the sentence imposed or on appeal against conviction if you believe that you are not guilty of the offence (commonly referred to as an all grounds appeal).
You can make an application for the annulment of a conviction if the conviction recorded in your absence. Such application is heard by the Local Court and is made by filing the application within two years of a conviction or sentence being handed down in your absence.
Generally the Court will only make an Order for an annulment if you can prove to the Court that you were either unaware of the proceedings or could not attend the proceedings due to significant incident such as illness, accident or other significant reasons, or that it would be unjust having regard to the circumstances of your matter and not in the interests of justice for the conviction to stand. If the annulment is overturned, the matter will be relisted before the Court.
Severity or sentencing appeal
If, after pleading guilty or being found guilty by a Local Court Magistrate, you believe the sentence that was imposed is excessive, you may make an application for a severity appeal to be listed before the District Court of NSW.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will appear on behalf of the prosecution in lieu of the police prosecutor and the matter will be heard by a Judge of the District Court in lieu of a Magistrate of the Local Court.
The District Court Judge will review the sentence imposed by a Magistrate and will also hear evidence from you in person, as well as submissions made by both the representatives from the DPP and our firm on your behalf.
You must lodge a severity appeal within 28 days of the conviction and/or sentence being imposed by the Magistrate.
If, upon lodging the severity appeal, you were sentenced to a period of imprisonment, you may also file an application for bail pending the appeal taking place.
Appeals against conviction (all grounds appeal)
If you are convicted of an offence and believe the Magistrate has made an error in convicting you, you may make an application for an appeal against conviction within 28 days of such Order being made.
You must lodge an all grounds appeal within 28 days of the conviction and/or sentence being imposed by the Magistrate.
Under the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act, an all grounds appeal is to be heard on the basis of the evidence given in the original proceedings before the Local Court. Only in special circumstances will the Court allow new evidence to be heard. The matter generally proceeds by transcript from the Local Court proceedings, with submissions thereafter being made regarding the conviction.
Court of Criminal Appeal and High Court appeal
In NSW, if you are convicted of an offence in the District or Supreme Courts, you may make an application to the Court of Criminal Appeal, and thereafter the High Court of Australia, if you believe there has been an error of law with respect to the principal proceedings.
You should obtain legal advice prior to making such an application.