In NSW, when you have a matter before the court and you have instructed your lawyer to enter a plea of not guilty, presuming your matter is one which can be disposed of in the Local Court and is going to be disposed of in the Local Court, then your matter will advance to a Local Court Hearing if you are pleading not guilty.
If you are pleading not guilty and your matter is one which can only be disposed of either in the District Court NSW or the Supreme Court NSW, then your matter will proceed to Trial.
When you plead not guilty to a criminal offence, a person must have a defence. For an accused person to be found Guilty of an offence, it is the prosecution’s job to prove the accused person guilty ‘Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.’
What should also be noted is when the Defence raises a specific defence, the burden of proof is then shifted to the defence. An appropriate example to help you understand this process is as follows:
Let’s imagine for instance if A tells the police that he was assaulted by B and as such, B was charged with the offence of ‘Common Assault.’ B then pleads NOT guilty, and B’s matter is now before a Local Court Hearing. It is for the prosecution to prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt that B assaulted A. Now let’s also imagine for instance if B raises a defence such as the defence of ‘self-defence’ then the onus to prove self-defence falls back on B.
It is very important that you speak with a lawyer so that you can get the appropriate legal advice which you require prior to going to court.
Our team of experienced solicitors are there for you and can help you answer all your questions, so be sure to contact Nicopoulos Sabbagh Lawyers.
*This article correctly reflects the Laws of NSW as at 5th July 2022.
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