Criminal Law is a very detailed area of law and the criminal justice system can be very complex and confusing. This is why it is best to get advice from a specialist Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible.
It is critical that you get legal advice as soon as you are suspected of a crime so that Melinda can give you advice on how to deal with the police.
If you are charged and required to attend Court, Melinda will keep you updated throughout the stages of your case and will ensure that you understand the legal process, your rights and your responsibilities.
It is very important to be represented by a lawyer when you go to Court as a Judge or Magistrate will only have a short time to hear your case, so you need to make sure that your case is well researched and presented concisely.
Contact Us to get expert advice today.
Here are some of the common terms that you will likely hear if you have a matter going to Court:
- Indictable offence – A charge that is serious enough to be heard in the County Court before a jury (trial).
- Indictable Offence Triable Summarily – Some indictable offences are designated at law to be able to be heard in the Magistrates Court if the accused person consents (eg: theft, intentionally causing injury, possession of drugs)
- Summary offence – A less serious charge that must be heard in the Magistrates Court (eg: drink driving, driving suspended, low level assaults).
- Mention – The first listing of your matter
- Further Mention – A second or subsequent listing of your matter
- Contest Mention – When you have indicated to the Court at a ‘Mention’ that you intend to contest the charge.
- Adjournment – When your case is postponed to another date
- Plea – When you intend to plead guilty to the charge and have the opportunity to address the court about the sentence they should impose.
- Filing Hearing – The first listing of an indictable charge where dates are set by the Court for a Committal Mention.
- Committal Mention – When you are charged with an ‘indictable offence’ and your lawyer discusses the charges and the witnesses required for a Committal Hearing with the Magistrate and the Prosecution.
- Committal Hearing – Before the charges go to trial where the defence gets the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses about issues in the case and the strength of the evidence.
- Arraignment – When an accused person tells the Court formally whether they are pleading guilty or not guilty.
- Brief/Hand Up Brief – The prosecution case against you including witness statements and other evidence.
- OPP – Office of Public Prosecutions (indictable offences only)
- Diversion – In the Magistrates Court for typically low level/first time offences which allows an accused to avoid having a criminal record if they admit the facts of the offence amongst other conditions.