Appeals can be to the District Court or to the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA).
If you were convicted/sentenced at the Local or Children’s Court you may wish to consider an appeal to the District Court. You can appeal against many decisions made by the Local Court, including when:
you have been found guilty of an offence but you maintain you are not guilty; or
you have been given a sentence which you consider is too harsh; or
you have been disqualified from driving for a period of time that you think is too long or you think you shouldn’t have been disqualified at all; or
the magistrate has refused to annul a conviction or other order entered in your absence.
You have 28 days from the date of the order to appeal. If you have not lodged your appeal within 28 days you may apply for leave to appeal within three months of the order. You will need to explain why you did not lodge your appeal within the 28 day period. If more than three months have passed since the date of the order then you are out of time and you will be unable to appeal.
The Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) hears appeals from the District Court and Supreme Court. The CCA has the power to set aside a conviction from the original trial and enter a verdict of not guilty or order a re-trial. The CCA has no power to order costs against an appellant who is unsuccessful in their appeal against conviction or sentence. Therefore, there is no risk that you will have to pay the prosecution's costs of the appeal.
To appeal to the CCA the appellant must file a Notice of Intention to Appeal (NIA) within 28 days from sentence. If the NIA is not filed within this time the Court it is usually possible to seek an extension. An appellant will be required to file a Notice of Application for Extension of Time for Notice of Intention to Appeal.
The appellant must lodge a Notice of Appeal within 6 months of filing the NIA. If the appeal is not lodged within 6 months the applicant must seek an extension from the Registrar of the Court of Criminal Appeal.
When filing the Notice of Appeal the applicant must also file the following documents:
Grounds of appeal
Submissions on appeal
Certificate under rule 23C of the Criminal Appeal Rules (a signed certification that the transcripts and exhibits are available from the District or Supreme Courts).
We can help with all aspects of your appeal. Contact us now to discuss your matter.