What is a Summary Offence?

Most criminal charges are summary offences heard by magistrates sitting in the Magistrates Court (Criminal Division) commonly called the Court of Petty Sessions.  A summary offence is one which can be heard by a magistrate. Set out below is an outline of what happens when a person is charged with a summary offence.

What is an Indictable Offence?

An indictable offence is a more serious offence than a summary offence. Indictable offences are usually tried before the Supreme Court in a jury trial. There are some indictable offences that can be dealt with summarily (by a magistrate). See Indictable Offences.

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