The way your matter will progress through the Magistrates Court depends on the seriousness of your offence and any pleas entered by you. The following steps outline the basic process for a matter in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

First mention date

This is your first date in court. You cannot miss this court date. The date will appear, for example, on the Notice to Appear you may have been issued.

If in Brisbane then this mention will occur in Court 1 which is in the Roma St Precinct separate from the other Magistrates Courts on George St.

After a mention in Court 1 you may be granted bail at your own undertaking. It is important to sign these papers at the registry before leaving the building.

Summary Offences:

If it is a summary offence then your options are;

  • Seek an adjournment so you can consider your plea further
  • Plead guilty which will allow the magistrate to then decide a penalty or set a date for a sentence hearing depending on the case
  • Plead not guilty which will mean a date for a summary trial is set.

Indictable Offences:

If your matters is an indictable one then you can;

  • ask the magistrate to adjourn the case and set a new date if you need more time to consider your plea
  • Plead guilty to a minor indictable offence— the magistrate may decide the penalty at the first mention or set a date for a sentencing hearing.
  • Plead guilty to other indictable offences—the magistrate will commit you for sentence to either the District of Supreme Court depending on the charge.
  • Plead not guilty to a minor indictable offence—the magistrate will set the matter for trial in a Magistrates Court.
  • Plead not guilty to a other indictable offences—the magistrate will set a committal hearing date to determine if there’s enough evidence to send you to trial in either the District of Supreme Court.

Further mentions

The magistrate may set other ‘mentions’ before a summary trial to confirm that each party has enough evidence and organised witnesses, and that you’ve finalised your plea.

Depending on the charge your matter will either remain in the summary call over stream or the committall call over stream. Adjournments may be sought to allows for briefs of evidence to be disclosed or your laywers to take instructions from you.

Bail & Custody

If the proceeding is not finalised at the first mention date you may be held in prison or released on bail until it is finalised, or bail is revoked.

You may be held in prison until your trial if the magistrate thinks you’re a risk of not returning to the court when required or a danger to the community or yourself.

Court processes and rules can be confusing – at Robertson O’Gorman we can guide you through your various court dates and responsbilities. Call us on 3034 0000 if you or someone you know needs legal advice.