Which Court?

by Criminal Lawyers Sydney George Sten & Co

District Court Lawyers NSW - George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers have extensive experience in defending clients in the District Court in a range of matters. The District Court is the intermediate court in the hierarchy of courts in New South Wales. The District Court is above the Local Court and below the Supreme Court in the hierarchy. If you have been charged with an offence and are required to attend the Local Court, the District Court or the Supreme Court, it is essential to speak with an expert criminal defence lawyer and retain expert defence to ensure your matter is properly defended and dealt with.

The District Court in Sydney sits in the Downing Centre on Liverpool Street in the CBD (criminal jurisdiction). The Civil and Residual jurisdictions are located and sit in the John Maddison Tower on Goulburn Street, close to the Downing Centre. The District Court also sits in Parramatta on George Street which has a criminal jurisdiction. The Downing Centre is a major court complex in the Sydney CBD in which the Local Court also sits.

Which Court?

The type of offence a person is charged with will determine the court in which the matter will be dealt with. Summary matters or matters involving the less serious of criminal offences are generally dealt with in the Local Court. An example of a summary offence would include offensive conduct. Generally if the penalty for a particular offence is 2 years or less imprisonment, it will be strictly summary.

For more serious offences, strictly indictable or indictable matters that cannot be ‘heard summarily’, it will be dealt with in the District Court or Supreme Court. This will generally be offences for which the penalty is more than 2 years imprisonment.

For indictable offences, a magistrate will firstly determine whether the accused should be placed on trial in the District or the Supreme Court. All criminal offences except murder, treason and piracy can be dealt with in the District Court.

Some examples of offences which may be dealt with in the District Court include but are not limited to:

  • Assault
  • Assault occasioning actual bodily harm
  • Assault with intent to commit a serious indictable offence on certain officers
  • Assault and other actions against police officers
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault
  • Aggravated sexual assault in company
  • Indecent assault
  • Aggravated indecent assault
  • Larceny
  • Fraud 

Appeal the court’s determination

If you are convicted or sentenced in the Local Court, you can appeal the matter to the District Court. If you appeal against a conviction in the Local Court, the District Court may:

  • Set aside the conviction
  • Dismiss the appeal or
  • Set aside the conviction and remit the matter back to the Local Court for redetermination where the defendant is granted leave by the District Court to appeal against a conviction entered by the Local Court in his or her absence

The District Court may determine an appeal against a sentence imposed by the Local Court by:

  • Setting aside the sentence
  • Varying the sentence
  • Dismissing the appeal

If you have been charged with a criminal offence and are required to attend court, whether the Local Court or the District Court, it is important to obtain expert legal advice to ensure the best steps are taken in your matter and your case is properly defended.

For more information on the District Court and to speak with an expert criminal defence lawyer, call George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers. We can represent you and argue for the the most lenient sentence in the event you are found guilty. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be contacted on (02) 9261 8640 during business hours or 0412 423 569 outside of business hours. We may also be contacted via email at georgesten@criminal-lawyer.com.au.  

Further information visit our website https://criminal-lawyer.com.au/district-court-lawyers/


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