My son was charged with assault with grievous boodly harm 4 years ago when he and his wife had a fight. The are still together with 3 children. My son is having trouble with the serverity of the sentance which has left him with a criminal record. In short he had been hit in the face three times before he hit back once. the police were called by his wife and he was taken to the local police station and then to the watchhouse in canberra city to appear before the Majestrate the next morning. His ability to earn a good living is now restricted by the criminal record as most jobs need a police report. This is causing so much stress for him and has to let jobs go. He is a Electronics Technition and has been back to night school to become a qualified Electricition. There was never a promlem before this insident or since and my question is are there any avenues for appeal to lessen the charge and the criminal record. Thank you Jennifer.
we have searched the internet for help and now will need to get professional advice from a solicitor or QC. All I have found so far is there is a time restraint of what appears to be 28 days after the court hearing to do anything. We were all so shoched at the time this was not though of and was not told to us as an avenue by our solicitor. Is there any possibilty of an avenue after so long?
Although the courts generally have a discretion to allow appeals after the limitation period, they would only generally do so in special circumstances and where the delay was not very significant. Also an appeal is not a rehearing and is generally only granted if there is a legal problem with your son's conviction so his legal adviser (if he had one) may not have raised it with him if he could see no merit in lodging an appeal.
If think there may have been something wrong with the case, or that this was never looked at, by all means engage a lawyer to review the case, but be aware this may prove a long shot.
However, under the ACT law, some convictions (such as ones involving crimes for which a sentence of less than 6 months imprisonment is ordered) become spent after a crime free period of 10 years, and the period is 5 years for someone convicted as a minor.
NSW has a similar spent convictions scheme, but some other jurisdictions, such as Victoria, presently have no scheme for spent convictions and criminal records are permanent.
Unfortunately, until the crime free period passes there is generally no way to remove an offence from the record, and he may have to persevere in the meantime.
I trust the above assists your understanding.
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Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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