If a case is heard in the Magistrates’ Court or the Children’s Court, the case is heard before a Magistrate sitting alone.
The Magistrate wears a suit, Defence Counsel wears a suit and the Police Prosecutor is a Police Officer in uniform.
If the Accused is unhappy with the result, there is an automatic right to appeal.
The situation often arises that an Accused is jailed or convicted or loses a licence and wishes to appeal.
The appeal is heard at the County Court and can be against:-
- The conviction and sentence, or;
- The sentence alone
The appeal at the County Court will be heard by a Judge sitting alone.
The Judge wears a wig and gown and the Defence and Prosecution Counsel are also wearing a wig and gown.
It should be noted that nowadays some Judges do not wear a wig.
However, there is no jury and the decision is made by the Judge.
An appeal is a re-hearing and it is possible to change a plea of guilty which was entered in the Magistrates’ Court to a plea of not guilty at the County Court.
In other words, the Appellant is not bound by the plea in the Magistrates’ Court.
An appeal must be commenced by lodging papers at the Magistrates’ Court within 28 days after the day the sentence of the Magistrates’ Court was imposed.
It is usual for bail to be granted pending the hearing of an appeal.
This means that the Appellant does not usually wait in jail until the appeal is heard. It is also possible to request a Magistrate to allow an Appellant to drive pending an appeal if the licence has been suspended or disqualified.
Of course each case depends on its own merits.
Free first Consultation.
All clients will deal with Mr Wilkinson personally.
Brendan Wilkinson, Criminal Defence Lawyer
Level 4 116 Hardware St
Melbourne VIC 3000
9670 1987 0438 670 198