The Crimes Act 1900 is the legislation
governing ‘Indictable Offences.’ As a starting point, an ‘Indictable Offence’
is an offence which is heard in a Higher Court.
‘Indictable Offences’ are offences which carry hefty
penalties (if such offences are dealt with in the higher court), unlike ‘summary
offences’ which are heard and finalised in the Local Court before a Local Court
Criminal Procedure Act 1986 notes
at section 3 of the Act, that an offence that may
be prosecuted on indictment is an ‘Indictable Offence.’ The reason as to why section
3 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 states ‘that may
be prosecuted on indictment’ is because some Indictable Offences such as ‘Larceny’
can be dealt with either Summarily before a Local Court or on Indictment
in a higher Court (Such as the District Court).
Can Indictable offences be dealt with Summarily?
When an Indictable Offence (charge) is laid, both the
defence and the prosecution often come to an agreement that the matter should
be heard and finalised in the Local Court, which means that the maximum penalty
which the Court can impose (if dealt with summarily) in the Local Court is 2
years Imprisonment. When an indictable offence is heard and finalised in the
Local Court in NSW, such matter will be prosecuted by the NSW police.
Usually, if the allegation to an offence is serious or if
either the defence (or prosecution) do not agree for the matter to be dealt
with summarily, it will then proceed to a higher court for the matter to be
If the matter is proceeding to a Higher Court, then the
matter will go through a different Court process in the Local Court (which is
called the EAGP process) as the matter will go through the Charge Certification
and Case Conference stages.
Once an Indictable Offence has been committed to a Higher
Court, the matter proceeds to Trial (if the defendant maintains the plea of not
guilty) or it can also proceed to Sentence (if the defendant decides to enter a
plea of guilty).
It should be noted that once an indictable offence has been
committed to a Higher Court, one of the most important considerations is that
the offence(s) will then attract more serious penalties and the penalties which
the higher court can impose for the indictable offence(s) are set out in the Crimes
Is there a Limitation Period?
There is No limitation period which applies with respect to
laying of charges which are indictable offences.
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 11TH October 2022.
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