Destined For The District Court?

Looking At The Fine Print

Being charged with a criminal offence can be a stressful and confusing process. Especially if you are charged with a serious matter that is destined for the District Court. This story will explain what matters will go to the District Court.

Our next post will outline the process of how your matter will proceed if it is going to the District Court.  

If you want to learn more, read on!

When you are charged by Police you are provided a document called a “Court Attendance Notice” which sets out what you are charged with. Each charge has Law Part code which is followed by an initial. They mean the following:

SI – Strictly Indictable

If you are charged with a Strictly Indictable offence is destined for the District Court.

T1 and T2 – Table Offences

If you are charged with a Table Offence the prosecution can decide to take the matter to the District Court if they do not believe the Local Court has adequate sentencing scope. This process is called “election.” For some matters you also have the right to elect to take a matter to the District Court.

A decision may be made to elect because the Local Court does not have sufficient sentencing scope. If you are sentenced for an offence in the Local Court you face a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment for a single offence, and five years if you are being sentence for more than one offence. If the prosecution believes this is not sufficient, they may decide to take it to the District Court.

Nothing at all?

– Summary Offences

Congratulations you are charged with a summary offence. Unless the matter is travelling along with a more serious matter it is destined to stay in the Local Court.

Things change considerably if a matter is destined for the District Court. Firstly, matters are heard by Judges and not Magistrates. Secondly, if you plead not guilty the matter will result in a jury trial (unless the court orders otherwise). Thirdly, the prosecutors with carriage of the matter are Solicitors for the Director of Public Prosecutions and not Police. And finally, the District Court has greater sentencing scope. 

At Green & Associates, we are experts in applying for no convictions and have an excellent success rate in achieving this for our clients. Regardless of the charge, we are ready to be in your corner and assist you during this uncertain time. If you or someone you know needs assistance with a defamation case, contact our office or book an appointment today.

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