If you have already appeared before the magistrates court and were convicted and sentenced, and you are considering whether to appeal the conviction or the sentence that you were given, contact us today as their will be time limits that are applicable in your case.
Magistrates have no expert legal knowledge as they are volunteers from different sectors of the community. Magistrates deal with over 90 per cent of criminal cases in England and Wales and they will almost always hear the motoring offences in the Magistrates’ Court such as speeding and drink driving.
Given that road traffic law is a specialist area of law and has numerous technical issues, it is simply the case that many motoring allegations and cases are simply too complex for many lawyers, court clerks and Magistrates. This can and does lead to injustices.
Even if your case had been heard by a District Judge, it does not follow that you would have received a fair trial. If you feel that this may be the case, contact us today for an honest appraisal of your case and advice on appealing against the decision of the magistrates court to a Crown Court.
A Crown Court appeal against the decision of the magistrates court, will be a full re-hearing of your case before. Although your appeal will be heard in the Crown Court, your case will not be heard by a jury.
It may be the case that rather than appealing to the Crown Court against your conviction and sentence, depending on the facts of your case, we may advise you appealing to the High Court rather than the Crown Court.
An appeal to the High Court can be brought on very limited grounds. They will not hear the full case, but will deal with specific points that we can advise you on. There are two distinct procedures and the avenue that we advise you to take will depend on the law and facts as applied to your specific case.
It may be the case that we advise you to judicially review a decision of the magistrates or ask the magistrates to “state their case”. Judicial review is the process by which the decision of the Magistrates (or even crown court) can be challenged. An appeal by way of case stated, is where we believe that the magistrates have incorrectly applied the law or have got the law wrong.
With regards to sentence, you may have represented yourself at the Magistrates Court or were represented by the Duty Solicitor or a general criminal defence solicitor and the magistrates failed to apply the appropriate criteria in sentencing you or failed to find exceptional hardship or special reasons not to disqualify you.
Whilst it is your right to appeal against the decision of a magistrate, being without representation from expert road traffic solicitors didn’t work the first time around. This would be your last chance to get it right.
With expert advice, expert reports and expert representation, convictions can and very often are overturned in the Crown Court. In addition to appealing against motoring convictions, we can also advise on the merits of the sentences handed down by the court.
157a High Street
London E17 7BX
020 8520 6600
©SJ Law 2016 - Authorised & Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority 305136