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Flashcards in Summary & Indictable Offences Deck (24)
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What are the 3 categories of offences?

1. Summary offence
2. Indictable offence
3. Hybrid/elective offence


What is a summary offence?

- Usually less serious offences such as traffic offences and petty crime
- Tried by a judge alone
- If you are charged with a summary offence you do not have the right to have a trial by jury
- Usually proceed through the justice system much faster than indictment
- Max penalty of two years imprisonment
- the statute that creates the offence must clearly say that it can be dealt with summarily. If it does not, then the offence is indictable


What is an indictable offence?

- More serious offences e.g. murder
- Require a trial by judge and jury
- If you are charged with an indictable offence and choose to plead ‘not guilty’, you are guaranteed the right to a trial by jury


What is a hybrid/elective offence?

- indictable offences that allow the accused to choose whether to have the matter dealt with summarily i.e. the accused can choose not to have a trial by jury and have the matter dealt with by a judge alone


Where are indictable offences heard?

Supreme Court (murder and treason) or
District Court (manslaughter)


What is the benefit of having a matter dealt with summarily?

The matter may be resolved much faster than if you have a jury trial


Where can the classification of 'indictable' offences to ‘hybrid’ offences be found?

Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW) Schedule 1: Tables 1 & 2


What are the two tiers of justice?

1. Summary hearings
2. Trial upon indictment


What are Table 1 offences?

- More serious elective offences
- both Prosecutor and Defendant have the power to elect to proceed on indictment
- s 260(1) CPA


What are Table 2 offences?

- less serious elective offences
- only Prosector has power of election
- s 260(2) CPA


Why would a Defendant not elect to proceed to trial on indictment?

- It disadvantages them
- Exposes an individual to a higher maximum penalty


Why would a Defendant elect to proceed to trial on indictment?

Really want to be tried by a jury which isnt available in DC


What factors might influence the Prosecutor in deciding whether or not to elect for a trial on indictment?

1. The seriousness of the offence
2. The penalty available to the court


Features of summary hearings

- expedient for efficient enforcement of statutory regulations
- maintenance of quiet and good order of society
- presided over by magistrate


Who presides over summary hearings?



Features of trial by indictment

- highest crimes, gravest liabilities
- formally and solemnly determined in procedure
- judge and jury


Who is the decision-maker in a trial by indictment?

Judge and jury


'Reckless grievous bodily harm' under s 35(2) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) is which type of offence?



Your client has been charged with breaking out of a house after stealing property valued at $40,000 under s 109(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). Your client is a high profile business person with a gambling problem and wants a trial with the least formality possible to minimise adverse publicity and damage to their career. However, the prosecution considers that the value of the property stolen means that the charge should not be dealt with summarily. Will your client be able to have the matter dealt with summarily?

No. The prosecutor has the power to elect to have the matter dealt with on indictment under s 260 CPA and wants the matter dealt with on indictment.


Your client has been charged with stalking and intimidation in accordance with s 13 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 (NSW). The prosecutor believes this offence should be heard summarily. Which of the provisions listed below provides the correct citation for the maximum penalty that can be imposed in this offence if it is heard summarily?

Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW) s 268


True or False
In a criminal trial if the defence raises the defence of mental illness, the defence carries the persuasive burden on the balance of probabilities



In a criminal trial, prosecutors' pleadings are also known by:

Indictments or Court Attendance Notices


The adversarial justice tradition is characterised by....

Party determination of the issues to be contested


The key legal authority for the principle of a fair trial is...

Dietrich v The Queen (1992) 177 CLR 292