GUIDE TO SENTENCING IN THE LOCAL COURT

All Court proceedings for criminal offences start with Police issuing a Court Attendance Notice (CAN).

An Accused should be given information (particulars) about the alleged offence to decide whether to plead guilty or to defend the matter.

If the Accused pleads guilty, the Prosecutor hands the Court a Facts Sheet describing the offence. The Facts Sheet must be checked for accuracy by the Accused or their Solicitor as the Court hands down its Sentence based on its contents.

The Prosecutor also hands up a record of any previous criminal convictions. In traffic related matters the Accused’s traffic history is also handed up.

The Solicitor then puts forward any character references & expert reports & addresses the Court to mitigage (lessen) the penalty. For example, the Solicitor may explain the hardship that will be caused to an Accused by the loss of their Licence.