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If you have been charged with a summary offense and intent to plead ‘Not Guilty,’ you must attend a contested hearing at the Magistrates Court.
At Norwest Family Law, we offer expert legal advice for accused individuals regarding all contested court matters. Our goal is to help you gain a clear understanding of the process, so that you know what to expect, and what the most likely outcome will be. With this valuable insight, you will walk into the hearing with a clear mindset and a positive outlook.
If your chance of success is high, we can provide legal representation on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis.
Once you have plead not guilty, the magistrates will instruct the prosecution to provide a Brief of Evidence to the Defence by a certain date.
This is a collection of all the evidence the prosecution has gathered to prove that you committed a crime.
The Brief typically contains witness statements, electronic records of interviews, any footage of the alleged incident (i.e. CCTV footage, audio recordings), police statements from the investigation, and more.
Prior to the hearing, you will be notified in advance the contents of the Brief. If the prosecution has a strong case, we may advise you to plead guilty so that you get a more lenient sentencing. If you are found guilty later, the sentence will be harsher than if you had pleaded guilty sooner.
From there, both the prosecution and you (the defence) will present their evidence. If you request our legal representation, we will act on your behalf to prove your innocence beyond reasonable doubt.
Following this, both you (the defence) and the prosecution will make your submissions, which summarises all the evidence heard and how it supports your case.
When it comes to criminal cases, the onus is on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. If they are unable to do so, the accused (you) must be found not guilty.
Depending on the circumstances, the magistrates may give their verdict at the end of the contested hearing, or reserve their decision and hand it down at a later date.
To find out how Norwest Family Law can guide you through the contesting hearing process, contact us today.
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