I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
A person who has been sentenced in the Local Court has an automatic right of appeal to the District Court, provided the appeal is filed within 28 days of the date the orders were made in the Local Court.
If an appeal is filed after 28 days of this date, but within three months of it, a person may still appeal but is required to seek and be granted the leave (permission) of the District Court.
A person cannot appeal a decision by a Local Court Magistrate if more than three months has elapsed since the finalisation of the matter in the Local Court.
Severity Appeal Procedure
Section 18 of the Crimes (Appeal & Review) Act 2001 states that an appeal against sentence is to be by way of rehearing on the basis of evidence given in the original Local Court proceedings, although fresh evidence may be given in the appeal proceedings.
What this means in practice is that the judge will receive a copy of all the material that the sentencing Magistrate had in the Local Court, plus any fresh evidence. Usually, the judge will receive a copy of the facts tendered in the Local Court, a criminal history and any material tendered on behalf of the person being sentenced, such as character references, a letter of remorse, psychological report or medical documentation. If the defendant was sentenced after being found guilty at hearing, the judge will have a transcript of the judgement delivered by the Magistrate and will determine the appeal based on the findings of fact by that Magistrate (unless a conviction appeal is also heard).
Effect Of Lodging A Notice Of Appeal
When a Notice of Appeal is lodged, any sentence, penalty, restitution, compensation, forfeiture, destruction or disqualification, is stayed.
A stay of execution of any penalty continues in force until the appeal is finally determined.
The following exceptions apply:
- If the appeal is not lodged within 28 days after the Local Court sentence, then no stay is granted until the District Court grants leave.
- If there is a custodial sentence and the defendant is refused bail, they will continue serving the sentence until the appeal is heard.
- If police issued a licence suspension or disqualification prior to the original court proceedings, these orders will not be stayed. However, the District Court may stay the suspension of it considers a stay to be appropriate in the circumstances.
What Is Likely To Happen In Court?
When your severity appeal is listed for hearing, a solicitor will appear on behalf of the DPP. They will have a bundle of documents that will have been, or will be, provided to the court. The bundle will include a cover sheet that summarises the important details that the Judge will need to know. These details include:
- The Magistrate who decided the matter;
- The offence and the maximum penalty that can be imposed;
- The date the sentence was imposed and the Local Court where the sentence was imposed;
- The penalty imposed;
- Any documents tendered in the Local Court by either the prosecution or the defence;
- The defendant’s current criminal or traffic record; and
- The length of time the defendant has spent in jail (if applicable).
The solicitor appearing on behalf of the DPP must provide the legal representative for the person appealing with a copy of this bundle. This should be reviewed carefully to ensure nothing is missing, inaccurate or unfairly prejudicial.
The DPP will tender the documents, if they haven’t already, and the judge will read the material. The judge can also receive additional material tendered by the defence. Both legal representatives can also tender written submissions.
In addition, the defence can call oral evidence from the defendant. This should occur only after legal advice about the merits, or potential risks, of doing so and an explanation as to what to expect. If the person appealing chooses to give evidence, they may be cross-examined by the solicitor appearing on behalf of the DPP.
After all evidence has been given and material reviewed, the legal representatives will be permitted to make oral submissions. The court will then make a decision or adjourn to give a decision at a later date.
Orders A District Court Judge Can Make
The District Court can either:
- Allow the appeal, and:
- quash a conviction entered; and/or
- resentence the person; or
- Dismiss the appeal.
As a severity appeal involves a re-determination of a sentence, a Judge can technically impose a harsher sentence. However, before doing so, they must give the person appealing a “Parker Warning”.
A Parker warning is a warning that must be given by a District Court Judge if they intend to increase the penalty that was imposed in the Local Court.
If a Parker warning is given and the person appearing can withdraw their appeal on the spot. Where this occurs, the District Court Judge cannot increase the penalty that was imposed by the Local Court and the penalty imposed in the Local Court remains. However, if the person appealing continues with the appeal after a Parker warning has been given, then the District Court Judge can, and often will, impose a greater penalty than that which was imposed in the Local Court.
If you require information on severity appeals or any other legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.
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WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
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