Table of Contents

Court dates are crucial for the legal system to function smoothly. However, situations may arise where you are unable to attend your scheduled court date. In Australia, missing a court date can have serious consequences, including the court issue a warrant for your arrest or you being convicted of a criminal offence.


Missing a court date in Australia can result in various repercussions, depending on the circumstances and the jurisdiction. In general, failing to appear in court can lead to an arrest warrant being issued against you, which may result in your arrest by the police. Additionally, the court may proceed with the case in your absence, leading to unfavourable judgments or decisions being made against you.

Valid Reasons For Not Attending Court

While it is crucial to understand the potential consequences of missing a court date, the legal system also recognises that there are valid reasons why individuals may be unable to attend. In NSW, the court acknowledges legitimate justifications for failure to appear in court, including:

If you are suffering from a severe illness or are faced with a medical emergency, it is essential to notify the court as soon. You may call the court or contact the court by email. Providing appropriate medical documentation, that is a valid medical certificate can help support your case for not attending court.

Certain unforeseen events, such as accidents, natural disasters, or family emergencies, may prevent you from attending court. It is vital to inform the court promptly and provide any necessary documentation or evidence to substantiate your claim.

If you were not adequately informed about the court date or did not receive proper communication, you may have a valid reason for not appearing. However, it is essential to demonstrate your efforts to stay informed and cooperate with the court. Simply forgetting your court date is not always enough.

If you have engaged legal representation for your case and your lawyer is unable to attend court due to unforeseen circumstances, it may be possible to request an adjournment. It is crucial to communicate with your lawyer and the court to handle such situations appropriately.

One of the excuses for failure to attend court is that it is in the interest of justice to set aside the judgment or order made against you. This is a legal argument for failing to attend court.

Annulment Application in the Local Court

In the Local Court of NSW, individuals who have missed their court date and have been convicted or sentenced in their absence have the option to apply for an annulment under section 4 (s4) of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001. A s4 Annulment Application allows you to request that the court sets aside the previous decision and reopen the case.


To apply for an annulment under s4, you need to demonstrate reasonable grounds for not appearing in court, such as if you were unaware of the court date due to factors beyond your control, such as incorrect or insufficient notice, you may have reasonable grounds for an annulment.


If you were physically or mentally incapable of attending court on the scheduled date, you can present evidence supporting your incapacity as part of your annulment application. If you can establish that a substantial injustice has occurred due to your absence, you may have grounds.

AVO Lawyers

Send An Online Enquiry

“Thank you Lyons Law Group on providing me an exceptional service delivered with care, compassion and a high level of professionalism. The outcome was more than what I had expected. A true reflection of your legal expertise and experience. Thank you Mohammad and team.”
Layalle Itaoui

After a Successful s4 Annulment Application in the Local Court of NSW: What Comes Next?

A s4 annulment application in the Local Court of New South Wales can be a significant relief for individuals who missed their court dates and subsequently faced convictions or sentences in their absence. Once an s4 annulment application is granted, it initiates a process that allows the court to revisit the case.


Upon the grant of an s4 annulment application, the Local Court of NSW sets aside the previous decision made in the absence of the applicant. This essentially means that the conviction or sentence imposed during the individual’s absence is nullified, and the case is reopened for reconsideration. The court acknowledges that there were valid reasons for the applicant’s non-attendance, and as such, the previous decision is no longer valid.


After a successful s4 annulment application, the court will reschedule a new court hearing to reconsider the case. The court will notify all parties involved, including the applicant, the prosecution, and any legal representatives, of the new hearing date. It is crucial for the applicant to be present or adequately represented during this rescheduled hearing.


During the rescheduled hearing, the court will re-examine the evidence, listen to arguments from both sides, and make a fresh decision based on the merits of the case. It is essential for the applicant to prepare their defence or presentation thoroughly, ensuring all necessary evidence, witnesses, or legal representation are available.


If you have missed your court date or have been convicted and penalised in your absence. You should immediately seek legal advice from our avo lawyers at Lyons Law Group.


  • Lyons Law Group | Criminal Defence Lawyers

    Lyons Law Group is a boutique firm of expert criminal solicitors and barristers. Lyons Law Group is dedicated to strong advocacy when representing its clients with an approach that is tailored to every client’s specific needs.