If you need to appear in court because you are filing a case or you are appearing in court because you have been sued and/or charged with a criminal offence, there are three basic things you have to know about going to court in Queensland:
There is a Magistrate’s Court, a District Court and a Supreme Court. The Magistrate’s Court decides questions on criminal and civil cases that are summary in nature or those where the monetary claims are small. The District Court is where you will appear when you are charged with serious criminal offences or when you file for divorce or child custody. The Supreme Court is the where appeals from the District Court are heard.
When the police stop you for an alcohol breath test and the result shows that you are driving with the prescribed concentration of alcohol in your blood, you will be issued an infringement notice. You can do three things with an infringement: you can ignore it and hope that it will resolve itself and go away; you can accept the infringement pay the fine and endure through the period of disqualification and be done with it; or, you can appeal the infringement notice. When you appeal the infringement, you are actually questioning the findings of the police. When you appeal an infringement, you will appear before the Magistrate’s Court.
The District Courts are courts of general jurisdiction. This means that it can hear and decide most other cases that the Magistrate’s Court cannot. These courts hear and decide serious criminal charges such as manslaughter or robbery. They also hear and decide appeals from the Magistrate’s Court.
The Magistrate hears and decides all matters of factual evidence and questions of law all by himself and without a jury. In a District court, there are specific instances when the judge may hear and decide a case without a jury but usually, the District Court judge decides questions of law and evidence but it is the jury that decides on the guilt of the accused or the claim of the plaintiff.
The Supreme Court hears and decides cases as a panel and they only entertain pure questions of law. They do not hear evidence or try facts and so there is no need for a jury.
If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers. Criminal lawyers Penrith ,Criminal lawyers Wollongong, Criminal Lawyers Parramatta,
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.