Many people do not realise that if they are convicted of a speeding or other motoring offence following a trial, then they enjoy an automatic right of appeal to the Crown Court. The appeal hearing will be before a judge and two magistrates who were not part of the original court. It is a complete re-hearing of the case with the same witnesses and evidence being called.

Similarly, following a guilty verdict or guilty plea, if a client believes that the speeding fine and penalty points he/she received from the magistrates was excessive, they can appeal to the Crown Court and ask for a lower sentence. In both an appeal against conviction following a trial and an appeal against sentence, the written appeal notice should be served within 21 days. However, even if you have missed the 21-day deadline it is still possible to ask the Crown Court to consider your appeal. Though there is no guarantee that the Court will allow this.

Obviously, many people appeal against a driving disqualification and it is always possible to ask the Magistrates to suspend that disqualification pending the finalisation of the Crown Court appeal. If the Magistrates refuse, then an appeal on this point can then be made to the Crown Court, pending finalisation of the general appeal against conviction and/or sentence.

This may sound complicated, but to a barrister/solicitor motoring or speeding specialist, such appeals are commonplace.

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