Appealing a Driving Conviction

We are Specialist Solicitors in Appealing Motoring Convictions and Sentences

At Caddick Davies Solicitors we specialise in the representation of motorists who are Appealing a Driving Conviction or sentence imposed by the Magistrates Court for motoring offences, including speeding, drink driving, failing to provide driver information using a mobile phone and disqualification on the grounds of “totting up” (accumulating 12 or more points).

Appealing a Driving Conviction & Sentence  is something we have successfully performed for many motorists, including successfully appealing against disqualification from driving.

If you are convicted and sentenced of an offence before the Magistrates’ Court there four possible avenues of challenge:

  • Statutory Declaration – If you are convicted and sentenced in your absence and did not know about the proceedings you may swear a statutory declaration which will cancel the conviction and sentence. The proceedings will then be recommenced from the beginning and the conviction and sentence may be challenged
  • Application to Re-Open – If you are convicted or sentenced in a Magistrates’ Court and you weren’t present or an error has been made, an application may be made to the court to set aside the conviction or sentence and to re-open the case. Again proceedings will continue and the conviction or sentence may then be challenged
  • Appeal to the Crown Court – If you are convicted and sentenced before the Magistrates’ Court you have an automatic right of appeal to the Crown Court, who will re-hear your case and determine whether or not the decision or the magistrates was correct.
  • Appeal to the High Court – In some limited circumstances the Magistrates’ Court may have made an error in law in convicting or sentencing you and you may appeal to the High Court.

Whether or not any of the above avenues of appeal are available in a case will be depend on the facts of the case and you should seek legal advice before making any appeal.

If you have been convicted or sentenced for a motoring offence and would like to appeal, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Below you will find helpful information on Motoring Appeals Law, How We Can Help and Commonly Asked Questions About Appealing Against Motoring Convictions and Sentence

Motoring Appeals Law

Appealing Against a Motoring or Driving Conviction

If you have entered a Not Guilty Plea and have been convicted of a motoring offence before the Magistrates’ Court after trial, then you may appeal your conviction to the Crown Court.

You cannot generally appeal your conviction to the Crown Court if you have entered a Guilty Plea, however you may do so in certain limited circumstances.

You may appeal against your conviction by lodging an Appeal Notice within 21 days of the date of your sentence. In some cases you may be allowed to appeal outside this time limit at the discretion of the court, where there is good reason to allow this.

Your appeal will be heard before a Crown Court Judge sitting with two magistrates who were not involved in your original case.

The hearing takes place as a complete rehearing and as a new trial.

At your Appeal you will be able to call evidence, including from live witnesses and other forms of evidence if in an evidentially admissible form. You may also call new evidence which was not originally called before the Magistrates’ Court.

If you have been convicted of a motoring offence before the Magistrates’ Court and you believe you have been wrongly convicted, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Appealing Against a Motoring or Driving Sentence

If you have entered a guilty plea before the Magistrates’ Court and are unhappy with the sentence which the court imposes, you cannot appeal your conviction, however you can appeal against the sentence imposed.

You may appeal against your sentence by lodging an Appeal Notice within 21 days of the date of your sentence. In some cases you may be allowed to appeal outside this time limit at the discretion of the court, where there is good reason to allow this.

If you appeal against your sentence, the Crown Court can either lessen the penalty imposed, increase it (within the boundaries of the magistrates’ sentencing powers) or leave it unchanged.

By way of example, if you are accumulate 12 penalty points and the court turns down an application not to disqualify you on the grounds of “exceptional hardship”, you may appeal this decision to the Crown Court who will then hear your application for exceptional hardship again and decide whether it should be allowed.

If you have been disqualified from driving and wish to appeal this decision to the Crown Court, the court can also be asked to suspend your disqualification pending the hearing of your appeal. If granted this means that you will be able to continue driving up to your appeal date when a final decision will be made.

If you have been sentenced for a motoring offence and you are unhappy with the sentence imposed, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Conviction and Sentence In Absence

If you have been convicted and sentenced in your absence and you knew nothing about the proceedings, you can swear a statutory declaration within 21 days of your discovery of the proceedings.

Once a statutory declaration is made, your conviction and sentence will be cancelled. You may then at a later date be re-summonsed for the offence, when you will have opportunity to challenge any allegation or minimise the sentence.

If you were aware of the proceedings, but for some reason you did not attend court for your hearing and were convicted in your absence, we can in some cases re-open your case before the court in the “interests of justice”. This allows you a “second bite at the cherry” and once your case is re-opened you can again either defend your case or seek a lesser penalty.

If you have been convicted or sentenced in your absence and you wish to have your conviction and sentence set aside in order that you may challenge it or seek a lesser penalty, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

Suspending Disqualification Pending Appeal

If you have been disqualified from driving and wish to appeal either your conviction or your sentence to the Crown Court then you may ask either the Magistrates’ or Crown Court to suspend your disqualification pending the hearing of your appeal.

As an appeal usually takes between 4 and 8 weeks to be heard before the Crown Court, this means that you are able to drive whilst you are waiting for your appeal to be heard.

If your licence has been revoked as a “new driver” because of points endorsed by the Magistrates’ Court, then the lodging of an appeal to the Crown Court against conviction or sentence automatically suspends your disqualification.

If you have been disqualified from driving and wish to appeal, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Our Specialist Motoring Appeals Solicitor Representation

How we can help

We have successfully appealed motoring convictions and sentences on behalf of many clients.

We often receive calls from motorists who have attended court believing that their case is straight forward and that they are able to secure a positive outcome without specialist representation, only to find that they are either convicted or often disqualified from driving. In these cases we are able to use our experience and expertise to advise on the prospects of appeal and where appropriate to successfully appeal the courts decision.

In those cases where our clients have been disqualified and wish to appeal, we understand that they do not want to wait weeks for an appeal to be heard whilst being unable to drive and we make application to the court to suspend the disqualification pending the hearing of the appeal in order to get them back on the road as soon as possible.

If you have been convicted or sentenced of a motoring offence and you wish to appeal, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

Commonly Asked Questions About Appealing a Motoring Conviction or Sentence

I have been convicted and sentenced by the Magistrates' Court in my absence for speeding, driving a motor vehicle with no insurance, failing to provide or furnish driver details, using a mobile phone - Can I appeal?

Yes.

If you have been convicted or sentenced in your absence of an offence, you have three choices:

(a) Statutory Declaration – If you did not know about the proceedings against you, you may swear a statutory declaration which is a legal document within 21 days of the date you became aware. The effect of this statutory declaration is to cancel your conviction and sentence and to take your case back to the start; or

(b) Application to Re-Open – Even if you knew about the proceedings but for some reason have not attended court and presented your case, you may be able to ask the court to re-open your case and to set-aside your conviction and sentence. if the court agrees this would again take the case back to the beginning; or

(c) Appeal to the Crown Court – Appeal your conviction and sentence to the Crown Court who will re-hear your case from the start.

If you find yourself in this position, please contact us for advice on what options are open to you and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

I have been disqualified from driving in my absence - What can I do? Can I appeal?

Yes.

If you have been disqualified in your absence you have three options open to you:

(a) Statutory Declaration – If you did not know about the proceedings against you, you may swear a statutory declaration which is a legal document within 21 days of the date you became aware. The effect of this statutory declaration is to cancel your conviction and sentence and to take your case back to the start; or

(b) Application to Re-Open – Even if you knew about the proceedings but for some reason have not attended court and presented your case, you may be able to ask the court to re-open your case and to set-aside your conviction and sentence. if the court agrees this would again take the case back to the beginning; or

(c) Appeal to the Crown Court – Appeal your conviction and sentence to the Crown Court who will re-hear your case from the start.

In all of the above cases it will be important that your licence is returned to you as quickly as possible and therefore once any application is lodged with the court, we will always make an application to the court to suspend your disqualification pending the outcome of any appeal in order to get you back on the road.

If you find yourself in this position, please contact us for advice on what options are open to you and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

I have been convicted after a trial in the Magistrates' Court for speeding, failing to provide driver details, driving with no insurance, using a mobile phone or drink driving - What can I do? Can I appeal?

Yes.

If you have been convicted after a trial then you have an automatic right of appeal to the Crown Court.

Any appeal must be lodged within 21 days of the date of your sentence, although with good reason this time limit may be extended.

Your appeal will then be heard as a complete rehearing of your case before a Crown Court Judge and two magistrates who had nothing to do with your earlier case.

At your appeal you may call evidence and will also have the opportunity to cross examine any prosecution witnesses.

After hearing your appeal the Crown Court will decide whether your appeal is to be allowed (you are found not guilty) or your appeal is dismissed (you are found guilty).

If you have been convicted at trial and wish to appeal against this decision, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

I have been disqualified from driving for "totting up" (accumulating 12 or more penalty points within 3 years) - What can I do?

If you have been disqualified by a Magistrates’ Court for “totting up” (accumulating 12 points) then you may appeal against this as part of your sentence to the Crown Court.

Your appeal should be lodged with the Crown Court within 21 days of the date of your sentence.

As part of your appeal you may ask the Crown Court not to disqualify you on the grounds that your disqualification will cause you “exceptional hardship”. You may do this even if you did not make this application to the magistrates.

At the same time as lodging this appeal, you may also make an application to either the Magistrates or Crown Court to suspend your disqualification pending the hearing of your appeal in order that you may continue to drive whilst awaiting the hearing of your appeal.

If you have been disqualified for a motoring offence and would like to appeal, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

I have been disqualified from driving for speeding - What can I do?

If you have been disqualified from driving for speeding, because of high speed, then you may appeal against your disqualification to the Crown Court.

You may appeal against your sentence by lodging an Appeal Notice within 21 days of the date of your sentence. In some cases you may be allowed to appeal outside this time limit at the discretion of the court, where there is good reason to allow this.

If you appeal against your sentence, the Crown Court has the power to either accept your appeal and to vary your sentence by replacing your disqualification with penalty points or to reject your sentence, which will mean that you remain disqualified.

If you have been disqualified from driving for speeding and wish to appeal your sentence and disqualification, please contact us for advice and for a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Does appealing a conviction or sentence cost money?

If you are successful in any appeal against conviction and sentence to the Crown Court then you will not be required to pay anything.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, then you will be required to pay additional costs to the Crown Prosecution Service.

If you have legal representation then this will of course incur a cost, although if you are successful an application may be made to recover some of the costs of this.

If you have been convicted or sentenced for a motoring offence and would like to appeal, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

If I appeal my conviction or sentence, can my sentence be increased?

If you appeal against conviction and sentence (or just sentence) to the Crown Court and your appeal is unsuccessful, it is open to the Crown Court to confirm your sentence or to vary it, including an increase in any sentence.

Whilst it is possible for a sentence imposed by the Magistrates’ Court to be increased for a motoring offence, it is very uncommon.

If you are thinking about appealing against a conviction and sentence (or just sentence), please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

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