An appeal to the County Court from the finding of guilt in the Magistrate’s Court is known as a Conviction Appeal.
An appeal from the Magistrates Court is initiated by signing Appeal papers at the Criminal Registry office of the Magistrates Court. The appeal notice must be filed within 28 days of the hearing appealed from.
The Conviction Appeal is heard in the County Court as a hearing de novo. This means that it is heard again with the evidence of the witnesses being heard and them being subject to cross-examination. The Judge is not bound by anything that has occurred in the Magistrates Court.
It is often a good procedure to get an audio recording of the hearing in the Magistrates Court so that the Appeal lawyer can get a transcript of what was said by witnesses in that jurisdiction. This needs to be done quickly as the Court only holds the recordings for a certain period of time. Also the transcribing of the audio recording can be a fairly expensive and time consuming process.
At the end of the appeal the County Court Judge can set aside the decision of the Magistrate and dismiss the charges and/or impose their own sentence or they can dismiss the appeal.
Read on to learn more about appeal matters:
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If you need advice, call Doogue + George on 9670 5111 and discuss your options.