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What is the difference between a summary and indictable offence?

Summary Offences

Summary offences in NSW have a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and are exclusively dealt with by the Local Court at first instance. For example, a charge of mid-range drink driving is a summary offence.

Indictable Offences:

Indictable offences may be dealt with in the District Court or, in the case of very serious matters, the NSW Supreme Court. Indictable offences are offences that are inherently more serious than summary offences. If a person is charged with an indictable offence, they have the inherent right to a trial by jury.

Indictable Offences dealt with in the Local Court:

In NSW there are a number of indictable offences that may be dealt with in the Local Court, instead of being committed to the District Court. This may be done upon election by the prosecution or in some cases, by the defendant. These offences are listed in Tables one and two of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986.

Strictly Indictable Offences:

Certain offences are strictly indictable. These offences are the most serious offences on the criminal calendar an included murder, manslaughter and serious drug offences. These offences cannot be dealt with in the Local Court and must be committed to the District Court.

For more information in relation to whether your matter will be dealt with in the Local Court or the District Court, contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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