After Court

Information about what happens after court. If you decided to plead guilty, or if you were found guilty after a hearing, the Court will sentence you, which means it will decide on a penalty.

  • Alert


    If you need help to understand the court orders, you should get legal advice.

    Aboriginal people can get help to understand court orders by speaking to an Aboriginal Service Unit worker at the Local Court, or by calling the Aboriginal Services Unit on 1300 679 272.

If you are found guilty of a driving offence and convicted, the court may disqualify you from holding a licence for a period of time. This means that your licence is cancelled and you must not drive.

At the end of your disqualification period you will need to apply to Transport for NSW (formerly Roads and Maritime Services) for a new licence. You cannot drive until you have been given a new licence.

For some offences a disqualification period is mandatory if you are convicted. This means the magistrate must disqualify you from driving. The only way you can avoid a licence disqualification in this situation is ​if the magistrate finds you guilty but doesn't record a conviction. This is commonly known as a 'section 10 dismissal'.

You can also appeal a magistrate's decision, including the sentence. 

In some circumstances, you can apply to remove your driver licence disqualification removed or get your traffic offender declaration quashed.  

For more information, see Losing your licence.

If you have been fined by the court, you will be sent a Notice of Penalty which will say how much you have to pay. The court will usually give you 28 days to pay your court fine.

You may have other options for dealing with a court fine. Deal with the fine before the due date, or other steps could be taken against you to recover the money.

For more information, see Paying a court fine.

If you have been found guilty, the Court might make orders that you pay costs including court costs and levies, or a criminal compensation order. In some circumstances orders for legal costs may be made. 

For more information, see Paying costs.

Your driving record is a list of all traffic offences that you have committed in New South Wales. It is also known as a traffic record.

Your criminal record includes a list of all criminal offences where you have pleaded guilty or been found guilty and convicted by a Magistrate. It also includes serious traffic offences. 

For more information, see Driving and criminal records.

If you are not happy with the decision of the Local Court, you can appeal to the District Court.

You may be able to appeal if:

  • you were convicted but you want the court to find you not guilty
  • you believe your punishment is too harsh
  • the Court dismissed your Annulment Application.

For more information, see Appeals.

It is important that you attend court on all the mention dates (if there are more than one) and that you attend the hearing. If you don't go to court, the magistrate can make a decision without you being there. The magistrate may adjourn (postpone) your case to another date, but you should not rely on this happening. 

If you miss court on bail

If you are on bail and you miss court, you may be committing an offence and a warrant may be issued for your arrest. You should get legal advice.

If you missed your court date you should call the court and find out what happened. The registry staff will be able to tell you if:

  • the case was adjourned and if so, when the next court date is
  • a decision (an order or finding) was made and if so, what the decision was
  • a warrant was issued.

If the magistrate issued a warrant for your arrest, you should get legal advice.

If you have been charged with a driving offence and didn't go to court, it is important to find out what happened. If the court convicted you in your absence, you may also have been disqualified from driving.

If you miss your court date, and you are found guilty in your absence, you may be able to apply to have the decision annulled (cancelled). You must have a good reason why you couldn't attend court.

You can file an Annulment Application at any NSW local court, but your matter will be listed at the same court where the original decision to find you guilty was made.

If the magistrate accepts your explanation, the decision will be annulled and your case re-heard.

Some reasons why the decision could be annulled may be:

  • 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, you were under arrest, or there were serious traffic delays
  • if the court thinks it is in the interests of justice to annul the decision.
  • An application for annulment may not be successful where:
  • you simply forgot to turn up to court, or
  • you got your days confused.

You have two years from the date of the court's decision to make an Annulment Application.

For information about how to make an application, see Step by step guide - Making an Annulment Application.