If you have been convicted of an offence by the Magistrates’ Court you have an automatic right to appeal to the Crown Court. Appeals are heard by a Crown Court Judge and two Magistrates. They are conducted in the same manner as a trial before the Magistrates’ Court and entail a rehearing of all the evidence. Therefore, a conviction and potential disqualification by the Magistrates’ Court need not be the end of the line. For example, Mr A appealed before Derby Crown Court against his conviction for drink driving. He had provided a positive breath sample at the police station but after initially refusing the chance of a blood test, he changed his mind. The police did not give him a second chance. On appeal, one of our barristers successfully argued that this was against the spirit of the law and that therefore the evidence of his positive test was not admissible. The appeal was successful and Mr A kept his licence.
Even if you have already been convicted of a motoring offence, securing representation of one of our specialist lawyers may yet lead to the retention of your licence. However, there are strict time limits in relation to appealing convictions so if you think you may have a case, contact one of our barristers today.
1. Don’t panic!
Sometimes things aren’t as bad as they may first appear.
2. Don’t delay in taking legal advice.
These days, you can go directly to a barrister (rather than using a solicitor) for advice. The sooner you tell us about the circumstances surrounding your case, the more time there is to get information together to ensure we get the best possible outcome.
3. Make sure you comply with any deadlines given by the police or court.
If you don’t comply with deadline dates, you could be making things a whole lot worse for yourself. Failure to respond to a notice of intended prosecution means you have committed a further offence.
4. You can represent yourself in Court if you wish.
If you do represent yourself in court, we recommend that for ‘peace of mind’ you ask us for an advice about your case. That way, you are bit more prepared. We can tell you what to expect on the day, your likely sentence and how best to present yourself to the magistrates.
5. You can appeal the decision
If you don’t get the outcome you expected, you can appeal on the grounds of a procedural or legal error.