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APPEAL PROCESS IN CRIMINAL MATTERS

What is an Appeal?

To appeal a decision of the court, is to apply to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court.

Magistrates Court:

If you plead guilty to an offence in the Magistrates Court, and you deem the sentence imposed to be too harsh, you can  appeal the sentence that was imposed against you.

However, if you plead not guilty, and you were convicted and a sentence was imposed after the hearing, you are able to appeal both the conviction and sentence.

You have 28 days to appeal the decision, and a notice of appeal must be filed in the nearest District Court registry.

A single District Court Judge will hear the appeal against the Magistrate’s Orders.

There must be grounds for why you believe the Magistrate has made the wrong decision. Before appealing a Magistrates Court decision, you must be aware that there is risk in appealing a decision. Risks included an increase in your sentence if the appeal is unsuccessful.

District or Supreme Court:

A similar procedure applies to appealing decisions of the District and Supreme Courts.

If you plead guilty to an offence in the District or Supreme Court, and you deem the sentence imposed to be too harsh, you are able to appeal the sentence that was imposed against you.

However, if you plead not guilty, and you were convicted and a sentence was imposed after the hearing, you are able to appeal both the conviction and sentence.

You have 28 days to appeal the decision, and a notice of appeal must be filed in the nearest Supreme Court registry.

Three Judges of the Court of Appeal will hear the appeal against the District or Supreme Court Orders.

Again, there must be grounds for why you believe the Judge in the District or Supreme Court has made the wrong decision. Before appealing a decision, you must be aware that there is risk in appealing a decision. Risks included an increase in your sentence if the appeal is unsuccessful.

Court of Appeal:

Finally, you can appeal a decision made by the three Judges of the Court of Appeal, by bringing an application in the High Court of Australia.

 The High Court of Australia sits permanently in Canberra, however the High Court Judges visit Queensland every year to hear criminal appeals. In most cases, the High Court will only hear appeal cases that are of major importance to the Australian public.

You have 28 days from the decision to apply for special leave to bring an appeal in the High Court of Australia.

Our team specialize in criminal defence. Our role is to sit down with you and work out the strategy that will get you the best possible result. If you have any questions about this article or any other topic of law, please call our team of experts on 1300 066 669.

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