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District court NSW


Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

The District Court of NSW is the middle court in the state legal system and deals with the majority of serious offences to finality. It hears both trials and appeals.

The NSW District Court judges also sit on a range of tribunals. There are 19 District Courts in NSW with 68 Judges.

Criminal matters dealt with by the District Court include everything except murder and treason. Matters usually dealt with include:

  • Offences against the person: including accessory before the fact or after the fact to murder, malicious wounding to inflict grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving;
  • Assaults: including inflict grievous bodily harm, reckless wounding, recklessly cause grievous bodily harm;
  • Sexual assaults: including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and carnal knowledge;
  • Offences relating to property: including robbery from the person, break enter and steal, serious fraud cases, armed robbery and robbery in company;
  • Offences involving drugs: including importation of drugs, supply prohibited drug, supply large commercial quantity and commercial quantity of drugs and manufacture prohibited drugs; and
  • Offences involving fraud: normally fraud offences over $200,000.

If you plead not guilty in a NSW District Court the matter will be listed for trial. The vast majority of trials are determined by a judge and Jury. In some limited circumstances you may be able to have a trial by a judge alone. This may be preferable in matters where complex or technical evidence is given that a jury may not be able to understand.

The majority of people accused of a crime in the District Court plead guilty and their sentence hearing is before a judge alone.

The District Courts of NSW also deal with severity appeals (appeals against the severity of the sentence imposed by a magistrate) and all grounds appeals (appeal against a magistrate’s finding that you are guilty of an offence.

Within the District Court and Supreme Court, 16,834 matters were finalised in 2009-2010. The most common matters before the court were:

  • Intentionally cause grievous bodily harm
  • Drug supply charges
  • Sexual assault charges
  • Robbery and extortion charges
  • Break and enter with intent charges

where to next?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

Leading Criminal Law NSW 2017 ISO 9001 Legal Best Practice Accredited Specialists Criminal Law Sydney Business Awards Winner 2011