By Adam Ly, Solicitor at LY Lawyers
What is a Section 4 annulment application? What needs to be done?
How can I have my conviction annulled after I did not attend court?
An application for annulment is made when a sentence is imposed by the local court in the absence of the accused person. For example, if you fail to attend court, the court will usually convict you in your absence, then issue a warrant for your arrest, or sentence you in your absence.
A Section 4 application can be made to any local court to have the decision reviewed.
A filing fee will have to pay a filing fee with the local court, around about $85.00.
An annulment application can be made within two years after the conviction. However, if there are good reasons why you could not have the application done within 2 years, we may seek special permission to file it outside two years.
When the annulment application is complete, it needs to be filed in the local court, completing the appropriate forms from the court.
it is important that you have all your evidence (for eg. medical certificate, statements from witnesses etc) to support your case. The more documentary evidence you have the stronger your application will be.
You then have to attend a local court registry and file the application, pay the fee…then find a lawyer!
How will a court determine a Section 4 Annulment Application?
A local court must annul the conviction if the following matters are found:
- You were not aware of the original Local Court proceedings until after they were completed, or
- You could not take part in the original proceedings because of an accident, illness, misadventure or other significant cause, or
- That it would otherwise be unjust (having regard to the circumstances of your case)
For example, you may have been gravely ill on the day that you did not turn up to court. If this is the case, you would need a doctor’s certificate proving that you attended there for treatment. If your evidence is strong that you actually could not have reasonably attended court, the court will generally lift the conviction.
Reasons for non- attendance are not limited to just illness. If you have a genuine reason for not attending court, the courts are very open to hearing those reasons.
What happens if the conviction is annulled?
If the court grants your application, and the conviction is annulled, the penalty the court imposed will not stand. Your case will continue as if you attended on the previous occasion, that is, you will be required to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty at some stage after the conviction is annulled.
If you have been convicted in your absence, you need to contact LY Lawyers immediately on 1300 595 299 for a free consultation.