An indictable offence is one that guarantees the defendant the right to a trial by jury. Indictable offences are generally the more serious crimes, and penalties are generally greater than for other offences. Major indictable matters can only be dealt with after the initial pre- committal and committal proceedings, whatever the defendant is pleading, in the District or Supreme court. Some examples are murder, robbery, rape, unlawful sexual intercourse, dishonesty and damage property offences (including arson) where the amount involved exceeds $30 000. Major indictable offences are all indictable offences which are not minor indictable offences.
The most serious offences, murder, attempted murder and treason, are dealt with in the Supreme court. Other major indictable offences are dealt with in the District court.
Before a person charged with an indictable offence goes to trial, there is a committal process including a committal hearing and an answer charge hearing , at which the prosecution's evidence is presented to see if there is enough evidence upon which a conviction could be founded.
There is no time limit to lay a charge for an indictable offence.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.