APPEALS AGAINST CONVICTION
An appeal against conviction in the District Court proceeds by way of a rehearing on the evidence which was submitted in the Local Court proceedings i.e. transcript. In some circumstances, new evidence can be submitted in the District Court. The appeal needs to be made within 28 days from the Local Court decision, or within 3 months if leave is granted by the District Court. Once a notice of appeal is lodged your sentence is stayed until your appeal is determined in the District Court.
A sentence appeal is an appeal against the severity of a sentence imposed in the Local Court.The appeal needs to be made within 28 days from the Local Court decision, or within 3 months if leave is granted by the District Court. The judge will read the bundle of documents that were before the Local Court magistrate, which will include a facts sheet, your criminal and traffic record and any subjective materials which were tendered on your behalf. The normal practice is that you will give oral evidence and your lawyer will ask you questions. The DPP will also have an opportunity to cross examine you if you do give evidence. Both your lawyer and the DPP then make submissions and the judge will then make orders either to set aside and vary the sentence or dismiss your appeal.
If you did not attend court when you were required to and a conviction and penalty were imposed in your absence, it is possible to appeal and annul that decision. An annulment application must be made within 2 years of the conviction. The Court must grant your application for annulment if it is satisfied that you were not aware of the original proceedings; you could not attend proceedings due to ill health, accident, misadventure or other significant cause; or that is would otherwise be unjust.