Appealing a Driving Conviction

Even if you have been sentenced for a driving-related offence, perhaps following unsuccessful self-representation in court or by employing a non-specialist solicitor against a skilled prosecution, then we still may be able to help you.

In the Magistrates Court, you can appeal against your conviction and your sentence if you pleaded not guilty, but only against your sentence if you pleaded guilty. You must appeal within 21 days of your sentencing, or you will have to seek special permission from the Crown Court. It is for this reason important to contact us as early as possible to enable us to evaluate your case and advise you as to your best course of action.

In the Crown Court (for more serious offences), you can appeal against both your conviction and sentence regardless of your original plea; however, you must ask the court for permission to appeal. We strongly advise you to contact us before doing so.

Whether in the magistrates or Crown Court, an appeal against road traffic or motoring conviction needs to be based on solid legal argument. It is highly unlikely to be successful without legal knowledge, attention to detail and tenacious preparation: Nelson Guest & Partner’s reputation for success is built on exactly this.

If an appeal fails, your original sentence can, in some circumstances, be increased, so it is essential to have expert legal advice and representation to stand the best chance of success, whether it be for an acquittal or reduced sentence.​

Talk to our driving conviction appeals solicitors in London

If you have been convicted of a driving offence, our London road traffic offences lawyers can help.

For immediate advice and representation, call our experts now on 020 8309 5010 or use our contact form to request a call back.

How our team can help with appealing a driving conviction

Appealing a driving conviction in Magistrates Court

Most driving offences are dealt with in the Magistrates Court, including speeding, drink driving and disqualification, where more than 12 points have been accumulated on your driving licence. If you have pleaded not guilty, you may be able to raise an appeal against your conviction in certain circumstances, for example, where the proper procedure was not followed by the court or where you were not advised of the proceedings against you. It is also possible to appeal where the court has made an error in the law that has been applied.

We can advise you as to the best course of action, lodge an appeal on your behalf in the required time frame and represent you at the hearing. If your appeal is successful, it may result in a rehearing, at which we can also represent you.

Sentencing appeals for driving convictions in Magistrates Court

If you believe that your sentence is unfair, you can appeal against it. For instance, if you have accrued 12 penalty points on your licence but being disqualified would cause you exceptional hardship, then you may be able to appeal against a sentence of disqualification.

It is also possible to ask for your driving ban to be suspended, pending the hearing of your appeal.

Crown Court appeals for driving convictions and sentences

More serious driving offences are heard in the Crown Court in the first instance, while the court also hears appeals from the Magistrates Court.

The Crown Court is far more formal than the Magistrates Court and can generally impose heavier penalties. It is therefore always recommended that you have expert legal representation by a driving conviction appeals lawyer if you are involved in a case in the Crown Court.

Where you have been convicted by the Crown Court, it is possible to appeal against both your conviction and your sentence, in certain circumstances. We can advise you whether your case is suitable for appeal and on what grounds and put together a strong case on your behalf.

For more information, see Road Traffic Offences Resources.

Our driving conviction appeals fees

Our driving conviction appeals lawyers are able to take cases on a fixed fee basis. The fee will cover work at all stages of the appeals process, including advice, case preparation and attendance at court.

Fixed fees will give you certainty over the costs involved so that you can be sure that you will not face unexpected fees.

For more information about our fees and the work included, see our Road Traffic Offences Fees page.

If you would like a quote or to discuss the costs involved or you have any questions about the driving convictions appeals process, please contact us for a confidential, no-obligation conversation.

How do I appeal a driving conviction?

You only have 21 days from the date of your sentence in which to appeal a driving conviction. You will need to fill in a form and ensure that it is lodged at the Crown Court.

The court will schedule a hearing, and a judge will review your case and decide how it will be dealt with. The original decision could be upheld, or overturned or the case could be reheard by the original court, either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.

What are the grounds for appealing a driving conviction?

If you intend to appeal your driving conviction, you must have a solid legal argument for doing so. Reasons for appealing include the following:

  • You were not advised of the case against you until you received a demand for the fine or were told that your licence had been revoked;
  • You should not have been found guilty, and you have evidence supporting this;
  • The court’s decision was unreasonable;
  • The court made a mistake about the law;
  • The fine you received was excessive in the circumstances, and the court did not have evidence of your income when it was imposed;
  • You were given more penalty points than was reasonable;
  • You should not have been banned;
  • You were banned for longer than you believe is fair in light of the conviction.

It is strongly recommended that you speak to a legal expert if you wish to appeal your driving conviction. At Nelson Guest & Partners, we have a thorough understanding of the permissible grounds for appeal, and we can advise you of the strength of your case and on what basis you should proceed.

Can you appeal penalty points?

You can appeal against the number of penalty points imposed, including where the sentence is overly harsh or where more penalty points were imposed than were permissible for the offence in question.

If you acquire more than 12 points, you may be able to appeal if you would suffer exceptional hardship if you were disqualified. While losing your job because you have been disqualified is a hardship, it is not necessarily exceptional. If you were at risk of losing the home you provide for your family; this could be considered exceptional.

We can advise you whether you have grounds to appeal any penalty points you have received and suggest the basis on which your appeal should be made.

Can you get a driving ban reduced?

In some circumstances, you can apply for an early return of your driving licence if you have been banned from driving. If you were disqualified for four years, then after two years, you can ask for the ban to be ended. If you were disqualified for between four and ten years, you could apply after half of your disqualification period has been served.

The court will take into account your character, your conduct, the original offence and any mitigating factors.

To stand a chance of success, you will need to ensure you have a comprehensive case putting forward strong arguments for the return of your licence. We can work with you to ensure you have a persuasive case.

Can you appeal a driving conviction after pleading guilty?

If you pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court to a driving conviction, then it is not possible to appeal against your conviction, but you may be able to appeal against the sentence you were given. In the Crown Court, you can appeal against both conviction and sentence, even where you originally entered a guilty plea.

Get in touch with our London driving conviction appeals solicitors in London

If you have been convicted of a driving offence, our London road traffic offences lawyers can help.

For immediate advice and representation, call our experts now on 020 8309 5010 or use our contact form to request a call back.