Appealing a sentence
A person found guilty and/or sentenced, has the right to appeal against the finding of guilt and / or sentence ordered in the Magistrates’ Court.
You should seek legal advice before deciding to appeal a judicial officer’s decision. See the legal help page for more information. If you would like to appeal a decision in a civil matter, see the appeals and rehearing’s page.
To start the appeal process, a Notice of Appeal should be lodged with the Magistrates’ Court within 28 days of date of the judicial officers’ decision. This can be done by yourself or your lawyer.
If your licence has been cancelled, suspended or disqualified and you are appealing this decision, you must make an application to the court to drive a motor vehicle, until the appeal has been heard.
If there is an appeal against a sentence of imprisonment, an application for bail can be made at the same time as the appeal. See the custody and bail page for more information.
See the County Court of Victoria website for more information about the appeals hearing process.
If a judicial officer determines a matter in your absence, an application to have the order set aside and reheard can be made. An application is made in person by you or your lawyer.
At the time of lodgement, the Magistrates’ Court will notify you or your lawyer of the application hearing date and location. Two copies of the application will be provided; one must be served on the informant within seven days and the other copy is for your records.
Your copy contains an affidavit of service which must be witnessed and sworn or affirmed in the presence of an authorised person.
See the witnessing documents page for more information.
At the hearing, the judicial officer will consider the application and decide whether to remove an order. If the application is successful, the original order will be set aside.
However, this is not the end of the matter and a new court date will be set to rehear the matter from the start. A plea of guilty or not guilty may need to be entered. See the pleading guilty or not guilty page for more information.
An application to drive pending a rehearing application must be served on the informant at least seven days before the application is to be heard. An application is made in person or by your lawyer.
Judicial registrar review
An application for review of a judicial registrar’s decision can be made under the Magistrates Court (Judicial Registrars) Rules 2015.
An affidavit should be filed with an application within 14 days of the judicial registrar’s decision. An application is made in person or by a lawyer. There is no lodgement fee for a judicial registrar review. You should seek legal advice before applying for a judicial registrar review.
See the judicial officers page for a list of magistrates and judicial registrars.
Cancel an appeal
Once you have lodged an appeal, the matter is transferred to the County Court and will be managed by the County Court Registry.
See the County Court of Victoria website for relevant information.
Non-attendance at County Court appeal
If you or your lawyer do not attend an appeal hearing, the matter may be struck out. This means the court will dismiss the matter without a hearing. If this occurs, the sentencing order made in the Magistrates’ Court may be reinstated and enforced.
If the appeal is struck out because of a no appearance, an application to have the matter reinstated may be able to be made. See the County Court of Victoria website for more information.
This is not a full list of legislation associated with this topic. See the Victorian Government's legislation website for more information.