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Committal Hearings

A committal hearing is a hearing conducted in the Local Court to determine whether or not an accused person should be committed to stand trial.

The magistrate considers all the evidence of the prosecution and any of the defence. At the conclusion of the inquiry, if the magistrate is of the opinion that, on the basis of all the evidence presented, there is a “reasonable prospect” that a jury would convict the defendant of an indictable offence, then the defendant must be committed to the District Court or Supreme Court for trial, or sentence if the defendant elected to plead guilty.

Alternatively, if the magistrate is not so satisfied, then the defendant must be discharged.

Whether to hold a committal hearing or not is a question that should be left to a solicitor with considerable experience in criminal law. The question is answered based on experience, the contents of the brief of evidence, and the desired outcome of a committal hearing.

If you are charged with a matter that is strictly indictable or a table 1 offence – (or if you do not know what that means but you vaguely know it’s serious!) then you should seek immediate advice about whether application should be made for a committal hearing, and simply deal 9797 8688, we can provide you with everything you need to know about your case and committal hearing.