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Re-opening a case

The standard practice method of setting aside a conviction is to appeal to the Crown Court. If you were not aware that proceedings were happening, you can make a statutory declaration.

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Re-opening a case

Under Section 142 of the magistrates Court Act 1980, magistrates have the authority to get a case reopened in order to rectify an error.

This might be used if you have missed a stage in the case proceedings, or if you have been found guilty and convicted in your absence.

It might for example be possible for a Magistrate to re-open your case if you have an insurance certificate that provides insurance cover for you in relation to an alleged offence but you weren’t able to provide it to the Court when you were originally convicted, either because it wasn’t possible to get hold of a copy or you were not present for that stage of the court proceedings.

Magistrates are required to act on proper judicial grounds in deciding if it is in the interest of Justice for the case to be re-opened to allow for the error or mistake to be amended. This is a general power to amend errors and mistakes.

As soon as you become aware that a mistake has been made you should make an application as a matter of urgency. The less delay in making an application under Section 142 the more likely it is to be successful.

This is your opportunity to persuade the Court that they should re-open the case in the interest of Justice.

For further information speak to us on 01772 447000 or reach out to us on our 7 day a week WhatsApp helpline 07869760533.


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