You have instructed your lawyer, that you are not guilty of the charges laid by the police. At this stage, we only have a two or three page document which is called “Police Facts”. This document briefly details what the police allege you have done and some of the background or events leading up to the alleged offence. This will be attached to a Court Attendance Notice advising you of the place, date and time you are required to appear before Court.
Your name will be on the list for “mention” at the Local Court, typically on a Monday in Grafton. In this process, you will again sit behind your lawyer, and he will announce your matter and will enter your plea of “not guilty”. The Magistrate will then make “brief service orders” requiring the Police to provide to your solicitor (or you), on or before a stipulated date, a copy of the Police Brief. This is a package of documents that details the evidence the police will rely on in the prosecution of the charge or charges that you have been accused of committing.
Typically, a Police Brief will contain statements from police who were involved in the arrest, charging and interviews, statements from victims, statements from witnesses, copies of documents and/or photographs as well as any relevant statements from experts such as doctors.
The case is adjourned, normally for about six to eight weeks, to allow enough time for the Police to prepare and serve the Brief and for the Brief to be considered by you and your solicitor. After the brief has been received, it is reviewed thoroughly and you decide whether you wish to adhere to the “not guilty” plea which has already been entered.
Your matter is again listed at the Local Court “for mention”, when the Court is informed that you are adhering to your plea of not guilty, and a hearing date is set.
Next week, we will look at the participants in a Local Court hearing.
If you have any questions you would like answered either confidentially or via this medium, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is intended for general information and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal advice should be sought.