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All accused persons make their first appearance in a Court of Petty Sessions. Depending on the seriousness of the offence and what is permissible under the Criminal Code, the matter is channelled to the most appropriate Court.

A Court of Petty Sessions is presided over by a Stipendiary Magistrate or by two Justices of the Peace. There is no jury in this Court.

Where reference is made in the following material dealing with the disposition of summary offences, reference to a Magistrate may also mean two Justices of the Peace. 

How Can a Lawyer Help?

Sentencing and punishment for crimes are often harsh and can be brought against adults as well as juveniles. Being involved in the criminal or police process can be quite demanding, rigorous, and time consuming. It is often stressful on both the individual suspected of the crime, and that individual's friends and family. Hiring the right criminal defence law firm can often make a substantial difference in your case.

There is a common misconception that a criminal conviction is only recorded in major matters. This is not the case. In fact, most matters that go before the Court, including drink driving law , traffic law, assault offences, bail application, intervention orders,sexual assault offences, will result in a criminal conviction. If you are concerned about a conviction being recorded against you and the potential impact on your future, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible, and they can advise you on your chances of obtaining a non-conviction order.

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