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WA Magistrates Court - Convicted in Absence

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by vinzi, 5 May 2015.

  1. vinzi

    vinzi Active Member

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    Hello all. I was summonsed to appear in court for a plea. Contacted the court by email to ask for adjournment as I had other commitments and was emailed by court that there was no listing for my case - 9 days before court date. On the day that the supposed court date, I phoned the court and they told me it was on. I emailed for the magistrates court notification that there was no listing and I obviously could not attend.

    I was subsequently convicted in my absence and fined a very large sum of money! Normal protocol as I see it, is that the court needed to respond to my request for adjournment. Seems like entrapment whereby I am told not to attend then the magistrate throws the book at me in favour of local government!
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    You didn't have any other commitments that were more important than attending court.
    No, you didn't.

    And it wasn't entrapment. That's something else entirely.

    Think yourself lucky - some people get arrested for Failure To Appear.
     
  3. vinzi

    vinzi Active Member

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    that is correct that is not entrapment although the offense of not turning up because the very court that convicts informed me not to attend?
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    If you think that's a valid appeal ground in your case (which I don't),
    and if you are still within time for an appeal of the conviction,
    then it's time to speak to a lawyer who works in the field criminal law.

    Bear in mind that the cost of the appeal may exceed the dollar cost of the fine.
    And if your appeal is dismissed then you risk bearing not only the original fine,
    but Council's costs as well.

    You'll need pretty good evidence of error by the court staff
    (which is what you are claiming, and which there probably wasn't)
    The onus is on you to show that an administrative error occurred.
    Experience shows me that most appellants can't do that.
     
  5. vinzi

    vinzi Active Member

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    fine is substantial enough to challenge. Court staff have admitted that information was incorrect and that at the very least the request for adjournment should have
    been presented to a magistrate for assessment(normal protocol) if case was listed.
     
  6. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Well, if you think you have grounds,
    then get some formal legal advice about an appeal.
     

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