​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

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Applying for an annulment

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.


    Getting legal advice before you apply for an annulment

    If you want to apply have your conviction annulled (cancelled), you should get legal advice about:

    • the strength of your case
    • the risk of a costs order being made against you
    • the risk of getting a bigger fine or more serious penalty
    • how to write and present your application.

    Preparing your application

    You need to a copy of the form Application to the Local Court.

    You can get a copy from:

    • your nearest Local Court registry, or
    • the Forms page on the Local Court website.

    In your application, you must include:

    • your name and address
    • the names of any other parties, for example NSW Police, Council or RSPCA
    • the date you were convicted
    • the Court that convicted you
    • the details of the offence/s you were convicted of
    • the grounds (reasons) for your application (cross out 3 or 4 depending on the circumstances of your case), and 
    • your date of birth or driver's licence number, if relevant.

    Icon - sample/instructionsSample: Annulment Application

    Once you have completed your form you must file it at a Local Court registry and pay the filing fee.

    Handy hint iconYou 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.

    Going to court

    When your application is heard, you may need to:

    • explain why you missed court (you may need to give evidence in the witness box)
    • call any witnesses who can support your explanation
    • show the Court that you were either not aware of the date of your case, sick, or unable to attend for some other reason
    • provide evidence, if you have any (for example a medical certificate).

    Handy hint iconIf 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.

    The decision

    After the Court has heard your matter, it will either:

    • annul your conviction, or
    • dismiss your application.

    The Court annuls your conviction

    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:

    • you didn’t receive your Court Attendance Notice (CAN)
    • you were too sick to attend court
    • you were involved in an accident on your way to court
    • you were delayed because of some other reason, for example, assisting police, arrest, serious traffic delays
    • it is in the interests of justice to annul the Court's decision.

    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.

    The Court dismisses your application

    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.

    Alert IconIf the Court dismisses your application, you can appeal to the District Court within 28 days.