Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice. Find out more >
If you were found guilty when you were not at court, you can apply within two years to have the conviction annulled (cancelled) and your case re-heard.
Your application for annulment will be heard by the same court that convicted and sentenced you.
You can’t apply for an annulment if you were in court when you were found guilty, or you pleaded guilty by filing a Written Notice of Pleading.
If you were found guilty in these circumstances, you may be able to appeal to the District Court. You have 28 days to appeal, or 3 months if you get leave (permission) of the District Court.
If you want to apply have your conviction annulled (cancelled), you should get legal advice about:
You need to a copy of the form Application to the Local Court.
You can get a copy from:
In your application, you must include:
Sample: Annulment Application
Once you have completed your form you must file it at a Local Court registry and pay the filing fee.
You can file an annulment application at any NSW Local Court, but your matter will be dealt with at the same court where the original decision was made.
Once the registry has processed your application, you will get a date to go to court.
When your application is heard, you may need to:
If you were unable to attend court due to illness, you may want to provide the Court with a medical certificate. The medical certificate should explain why you were unable to attend rather than simply stating that you had a 'medical condition' or 'illness'.
You should take the original and two copies of any documents you want to give to the Court. You will need to give the originals to the Court, and a copy to the prosecutor.
After the Court has heard your matter, it will either:
If the Court accepts your explanation, your conviction will be annulled and your case re-heard, either immediately or at a later date.
The Court must annul your conviction if:
An application for annulment might not be granted where you simply forgot to turn up to court, for example because you got your days confused.
If your conviction is annulled, you will need to be ready to tell the Court whether you want to plead guilty or not guilty to the original offence.
If you are pleading guilty, you may be sentenced on the same day. You should have your character references and submissions ready to give to the Court. If you need more time, you can ask the court for an adjournment.
For more information, see Pleading guilty.
If you are pleading not guilty, your case will usually be adjourned (postponed) to another date for a hearing.
For more information, see Pleading not guilty.
If the Court dismisses your application, the conviction imposed by the Court in your absence will stay in place.
If you haven’t already paid the fine, you will need to respond to the fine as soon as possible.
If the Court dismisses your application, you can appeal to the District Court within 28 days.