The criminal process is divided into two jurisdictions:
- The Summary Jurisdiction – less serious offences
- The Indictable Jurisdiction – more serious offences
Typically, charges for indictable offences are heard in the higher courts, as they are considered more serious offences. If you plead guilty, a judge alone will determine your case. If you decide to plead not guilty, your matter will proceed to trial, at which time, both a judge and jury will hear and determine your matter.
While some indictable offences can be heard by a Magistrate in the Summary Jurisdiction, the following are some of the offences deemed too serious to be heard in the Magistrates’ Court.
- Intentionally Causing Serious Injury
- Culpable Driving causing death
- Aggravated Burglary
- Property and Dishonesty Offences (over $100,000.00)
- Drug trafficking charges in large quantities, unless the correct jurisdiction will be the Supreme Court
- Home Invasion
If you are charged within the Indictable Jurisdiction, you can likely expect the following process:
At the Magistrates’ Court
At the County Court
If you plead guilty, your matter can be heard and determined by a Judge.
If you plead not guilty, you should expect the following process:
At the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is typically restricted to the most serious criminal charges, such as murder, attempted murder, treason, some sex offences, fraud and major drug trafficking offences
For these offences, following the Committal Proceeding at the Magistrates’ Court, there is a Post Committal Directions Hearing at the Supreme Court.
If your matter is able to proceed as a plea, a time is scheduled to proceed before a single judge. If the matter is to proceed to trial, the following procedures take place:
At Hutchinson Legal, we strive to understand your case, provide practical legal advice on the best course of action and act on your behalf to resolve matters as efficiently as possible.