District Court Severity Appeal

The severity of a criminal sentence imposed by a NSW Local Court is able to be reviewed on appeal by a Judge of the District Court in New South Wales.


Any person who has been sentenced by a Local Court may appeal to the District Court against the severity of their sentence. A severity appeal can be lodged with the Registrar of any Local Court or with the person in charge of the place where you are in custody.


A severity appeal must be lodged within 28 days after the sentence is imposed by the Magistrate. If the appeal is not lodged within 28 days, but before 3 months has elapsed, you require the permission of the District Court for your appeal to proceed.


Appeals filed more than 3 months after the Local Court sentence was imposed will not be heard.


When a Notice of Appeal is lodged, any sentence (or other penalty imposed by the Court) is stayed until your appeal is heard.  


The District Court can set aside the sentence, vary the sentence or dismiss the appeal.


If the District Court Judge hearing your appeal intends to increase the penalty that was imposed in the Local Court, that Judge will warn you and give you an opportunity to withdraw your appeal.


The District Court must not make an order or impose a sentence that could not have been made in the Local Court.


If you have been sentenced in the Local Court and you would like to discuss your options, please use our contact form we will contact you as soon as possible or phone us 1300 171 898 for a confidential discussion about your case and our fees.


Author:             Michael K Twemlow

Published on:  7 February 2016