Cridland & Hua Lawyers provide the service of legal representation at committal hearings.
But first some background. All criminal charges, from drink driving through to murder, originate in the Magistrates Court. This is, of course, part of the entire Australian court system.
The Magistrates Court has the power to deal with a large number of matters. This is whether a person is pleading guilty or not guilty. However, serious matters which can’t be dealt with in the Magistrates Court need to proceed to either the District Court or Supreme Court. That does not mean that the Magistrates Court has no function in such matters. In fact, it still has a very important function. This is known as a committal hearing.
The main purposes of a committal hearing are to firstly operate as a ‘filter’. That is, to ensure that charges for which there is insufficient evidence for a conviction are dismissed. It is also to provide both the defence and the prosecution the opportunity to explore and clarify evidence in order to narrow issues in dispute. (Or to expose strengths and weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.) The importance of the right legal representation at a committal hearing is clear.
Like a strong, solid foundation is important to the construction of a house; a committal hearing is a very important step in court proceedings. This is because it is often laying the ‘groundwork’ for how the proceedings are conducted. Similarly, for what evidence may be led and what can be made of that evidence in the District or Supreme Court.
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