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Summary Crime

“Summary Crime” is a term used to describe a case that is to be heard in the Magistrates Court. A case in the Magistrates’ Court is either started with a Charge and Summons or you are on Bail. Charge and Summons means that you were given the charges after the date of the alleged incident. If you are on Charge and Summons it is often easier to have your case adjourned in your absence (depending on the circumstances). If you are on Bail then you must turn up to each Court date. You would have signed a bail bond at the Police Station if you are on bail.

Police Charges is a term for either a charge and summons or Bail matters. Police charges is just a general charge for whenever the Police have charged you with criminal charges. Whether you call them Police Charges or something else does not affect which Court that the case is heard in.

There are limits to what can be heard in the Magistrates’ Court. If your case is not starting as a “filing hearing” then it is likely to be heard in the Magistrates’ Court. If you look on the first page of the charge sheets it will state whether your case is listed for a “filing hearing” or just for a “mention”. If you are unsure whether you are on a charge and summons then it is always wise to assume you are on bail and turn up to each Court date.

Many serious allegations like Sexual Offending, serious violence or commercial drug charges do not finish in the Magistrates Court. They start there but they do not finish there. The Magistrate does not have the power to hear the case and sentence you even if they wanted to.

If it is the sort of case that will be heard in the Magistrates Court then press “next”.

If you have a “filing hearing” go back and use the committal tour.