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Criminal Courts

The most common criminal charges are called summary offences, see CRIMINAL AND TRAFFIC OFFENCES, Types of Crimes and Courts, Summary Offences. Summary offences are generally less serious offences. They are heard and decided in the Magistrates Court, usually by a single magistrate.

More serious offences are called indictable offences (pronounced in-dye-ta-ball). These are further broken down into:

  • major indictable offences; and
  • minor indictable offences.

Major indictable offences must be heard before a judge and jury in the District or Supreme Courts. In certain circumstances minor indictable offences can also be heard in these courts, see CRIMINAL AND TRAFFIC OFFENCES, Types of Crimes and Courts, Minor Indictable Offences.

For matters in the Youth Court, see CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE, Young Offenders.

Civil proceedings are dealt with elsewhere — see COURT - SUING AND BEING SUED.

Criminal Courts  :  Last Revised: Thu Jun 16th 2016
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.