Defended Hearings & Trials
Defended Hearing or Jury Trial
A defended hearing occurs in the Local Court.
This is where witnesses attend court to speak on the witness stand and the magistrate decides whether you are guilty or not guilty.
A trial takes place in the District or Supreme Court and normally involves a 12-member jury.
In either case, if you plead not guilty the prosecution will have to prove all of the elements of the offence beyond reasonable doubt.
Defended hearings and jury trials are the most time-consuming part of the court process.
Defendants who plead guilty usually get a reduction in sentence because of the considerable time, resources and costs that are saved if the prosecution doesn’t have to prove guilt.
If you are found not guilty, the charges against you will be dismissed and you will be free to get on with your life.
This is called an ‘acquittal’.
You may in certain circumstances be able to make an application for legal costs once you are acquitted.