Types of court cases

The types of cases you may face in a criminal court vary depending if you’re in the Local Court or Supreme Court.

Cases heard in the Local Court

Mention

This is where the lawyers and judge speak briefly about what kind of case you should have.

Bail application

The lawyer for the offender asks the judge to release you from prison under supervision or restrictions.

The judge may agree and release you under some restrictions.

These can include:

  • a curfew
  • reporting to your local police station on a regular basis
  • taking part in a program.

The judge may also not allow this to happen and you may have to stay in custody until your next court date.

Case management inquiry

This involves a discussion between the lawyers and the judge about where the case is up to. They then set another day for you to come to court again.

Hearing

This is when you don’t want to plead guilty to an offence. Witnesses come to court and answer questions about the incident. 

A hearing can run for several days or more than a week.

The judge will then decide at the end of the hearing whether you are guilty or not.

If you are found guilty by the judge, you will then be sentenced.

Find out more about court orders and sentencing.

Hand-up committal

This is when the judge, the prosecutor and your lawyer agree that the type of crime you have been involved in is too serious to be heard in the Local Court.

This is a brief hearing and your case is transferred to the Supreme Court.

Committal hearing

This is when the prosecutor has asked the judge to consider sending you to the Supreme Court because you have been involved in a serious crime.

Witnesses may come to court and answer questions about the incident.

If a judge thinks you committed a serious crime, they may order you to go to the Supreme Court.

Plea

This is when you have agreed to plead guilty to an offence. The charges will be read out and you will have to answer ‘guilty’.

You will then be given a sentence by the judge.

Cases heard in The Supreme Court

The different types of cases you may face in the Supreme Court are listed below.

Mention

This is where the lawyers and judge speak briefly about what kind of case you should have.

Bail application

Your lawyer asks the judge to release you from the remand section of the prison under supervision or restrictions. The judge may agree and release you under some restrictions.

These can include any of the following:

  • a curfew
  • reporting to your local police station on a regular basis
  • taking part in a program.

The judge may also not allow this to happen and you will have to stay in the remand section of a prison until their next court date.

Find out more information on being granted bail.

Jury trial

This is when a person's case is heard in front of a judge and group of people from the community – known as a jury.

The prosecutor will tell the court about the incident you were allegedly involved in. Your lawyer will tell the court why you should not be held responsible for the incident.

The jury will then say whether they think you are guilty or not guilty. This called a verdict.

If the jury says you are guilty, the judge will then give you a sentence. This may be done on another day.

If the jury says you are not guilty, you are free to go.

Read more about court orders and sentences.

Plea

This is when you have agreed to plead guilty to an offence. The charges will be read out and you will have to answer ‘guilty’.

You will then be given a sentence by the judge.

Print all pages in this section

Last updated: 27 June 2017