skip to content

Refine results

Search by

Search by Algolia
Law Handbook banner image


Unless a defendant charged with a minor indictable offence elects to be tried in the District Court, the case will be dealt with in the Magistrates Court as though it were a summary offence [section 108(1) and section 117(1) Criminal Procedure Act 1921 (SA)].

If an election is made the case is set down for a pre-committal hearing and is dealt with as though it were a major indictable offence. If no election is made the case follows the procedures of the Magistrates Court for summary offences, see Summary Offences

[For more on procedure see the relevant Court's Criminal Rules, the Criminal Procedure Act 1921 (SA) and the Juries Act 1927 (SA)].

Before deciding whether to elect to have the case dealt with in the District Court or not, the defendant should consider the following factors:

  • in the District Court, the decision as to whether the verdict is guilty or not guilty is made by a jury
  • the defence may be better able to present its case before a jury, being able to rely on the evidence given in the committal proceedings
  • the penalties a magistrate can impose on each charge are lower than those a judge can impose after a jury trial.

This consideration should always be made with the assistance of legal advice.

Election  :  Last Revised: Wed Feb 28th 2018
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.