Appealing a Sentence to the County Court from the Magistrates’ Court

  • An appeal to the County Court from the sentence of a Magistrate is known as a Sentence Appeal.

    An appeal from the Magistrates’ Court is started by signing appeal papers at the Criminal Registry office of the Magistrates’ Court. A notice for appealing a conviction from the Magistrates’ Court must be filed within 28 days of the hearing that is being appealed.

    The Sentence Appeal is heard in the County Court as hearing de novo. This means effectively a rehearing of the case. The Judge is not bound by anything that the Magistrate did in the Court below. The summary of what the Prosecution say happened is read out and submissions are made by your lawyer.

    It is often a good procedure to get an audio recording of the hearing where the sentence was imposed so that the Appeal lawyer can listen to it to see if there was anything that was missed by the lawyer in the Magistrates Court. On an appeal you can provide the Judge with new material so it is important to be organized and to try to get all the important information about your case to the Judge hearing the appeal.

    The County Court when hearing appeals from the Magistrates Court does not like the matter being adjourned as often as would be possible in the Magistrates Court. It is important to be organized and ready to go.

    At the start of the appeal the Judge will generally have a call-over of the matters in their list to see how long they will go for and to prioritize them.

    At the end of the appeal the County Court Judge can set aside the decision of the Magistrate and impose their own sentence or they can dismiss the appeal. If they dismiss the appeal then that means the orders of the Magistrate still stand.

    Read on to learn more about appeal matters:




    Doogue + George are highly experienced appeals solicitors, in every level of appeal courts. Nothing beats experience in handling appeal cases.
    If you need advice phone us today on 9670 5111.

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