Appeal a Sentence to the County Court from Magistrates’ Court

Do you need to appeal a sentence of a Magistrate to the County Court? We can help you.

Appealing to the County Court from the sentence of a Magistrate is known as a County Court Sentence Appeal.

Doogue + George have extensive experience in handling County Court appeals. If you need advice or representation in an appeal, you need advice from expert appeals lawyers.

How a County Court sentence appeal works

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 that is being appealed.

The Sentence Appeal is heard in the County Court as “hearing de novo”. This means effectively a re-hearing of the case. 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 a transcript of the Magistrates’ Court hearing you are appealing. This allows your Appeal lawyer to see if there was anything that was missed by the lawyer in the Magistrates’ Court.

On a County Court appeal you can provide the Judge with new material; it is important to be organised. Your outcome is always improved if all the important information about your case is presented in a structured way to the Judge.

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 organised and ready to go.

The County Court list a few appeals before a Judge each day. At the listing time, usually 10:30am, the Judge will generally have a call-over of the matters in their list to see how long each appeal will go for and to prioritise 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.