Criminal prosecutions of less serious offences or less serious breaches of major offences are dealt with in the Local Court in NSW.

 

Most driving matters are dealt with in the Local Court.

 

All defendants have the option of defending their prosecutions. The hearings are before a Magistrate.

 

An early of guilty is taken into consideration and a lesser sentence imposed. We may be able to assist in defending a prosecution, or entering an early plea.

 

 

Local Court Criminal Matters

It is the view of our writer that:

  • Imprisonment for convictions is a last resort in the Local Court.

 

  • The Local Court concerns itself with the gravity of offending behaviour, and

       corrective action.

 

  • In contrast, prosecutions in the higher Courts contend with public expectations that

      convictions for serious offenses are dealt with by imprisonment.

 

  • A defendant should not plead guilty to an offense they did not commit, "to have it over with". No one wants to undertake corrective action for an offense they did not commit.

Apprehended Violence Orders

THIS IS OUR WRITER'S OPINION OF A GENEREAL NATURE AND CAN NOT BE RELIED ON WITHOUT CONSULTATION IN RESPECT OF YOUR PARTICULAR CASE

An apprehended violence order is not a criminal offense. It is an order restricting the defendant's behaviour.

 

An AVO summons can only be issued by the Registrar or Magistrate of a Local Court. Only a Magistrate can make an Order. In some cases, an interim or provisional AVO can be granted by a Magistrate at the request of Police.

 

Defendants have a right to a hearing, before a final order is made. A defendant can also agree to a final AVO without admissions. However, if a defendant is convicted of a domestic violence criminal offence, a magistrate must make an order for the protection of the victim.

 

The fact that a person is the subject of an AVO may affect some employment, and some overseas travel. A breach of an apprehended violence order is a criminal offense.

It is the view of our writer that:

  • A defendant should consider the conditions of an AVO carefully and make timely submissions as to the conditions.

  • An AVO should be strictly complied with, by both the defendant and the protected person. 

  • Any variation of the terms of an AVO needs to be effected by court order, and is not recognized if merely an agreement between the defendant and the protected person