Criminal offences are committed against the state. A person who is charged with a criminal offence may be arrested and bailed or remanded, or summonsed to attend court. Criminal offences can be summary offences (which are finalised in the Magistrates Court or Children’s Court) indictable offences (which can be finalised either in the Magistrates Court, District Court, County Court or Supreme Court) or strictly indicatable offences (which must be finalised in the higher courts).
A person charged with a criminal offence must choose whether to plead guilty and proceed to be sentenced or to plead not guilty and go through a contested hearing or trial.
When a person is found guilty of criminal offences they will proceed to be sentenced by the court. In deciding on the appropriate sentence, the court will be guided by the maximum and minimum penalties stipulated for the offence in the legislation as well as the circumstances
This section of the site contains information about criminal offences in Australia.