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Appealing a 1996 Conviction

Brian, can I appeal a court conviction from 1996? I was under considerable duress from my Brief and the Gardai to plead guilty. Thanks. David.

The key element in this is that David was represented by either a Solicitor or Barrister and pleaded guilty under advice.   Where a legal representative believes that the client has a bad defence to a case will usually advise his or her client in strong terms that they should plead guilty if the facts of the case are likely to lead to a conviction.   

 

Courts tend to be a bit more lenient on people who plead guilty and own up to an offence rather than plead not guilty and then be found guilty by the court after a full trial.   In news reports of court hearings listeners will constantly hear the expression “that the court applied some leniency, giving credit to the Defendant for pleading guilty and not putting the witnesses through the trauma of giving their evidence”.

 

So for David I believe it is extremely unlikely that he will be able to appeal a conviction from that length of time ago unless new evidence comes forward or he can allege fraud on the part of the authorities in bringing the case in the first place. 

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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