The Magistrates’ Court Committal Process

If your matter is entering committal proceedings, then generally it is because it is considered too serious to be heard by the Magistrate’s Court and must progress to either the County or Supreme Court.

The test for seriousness is generally where committal proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court are needed because either the amount involved is more than $100,000, or the offence is considered serious, such as a sexual offence or an assault causing serious injury or death. Whether there will be committal proceedings in the Magistrates Court is an fairly simple matter for a criminal lawyer to give you advice about.

There are also matters that the Office of Public Prosecutions push to be heard in the higher Courts because of their perception of the case. Generally, avoiding committal proceedings and the higher courts is a good thing for a defendant, as they are not as limited in sentencing as the Magistrates’ Court is. Beyond a committal proceeding, the County Court or Supreme Court can impose much higher penalties than the Magistrates’ Court can.

Committal proceedings often involve a number of procedural steps. When you have taken a deep breath, click “next”.