The District and Supreme Courts deal with serious criminal offences.
The Information (charge sheet) that started proceedings in the Magistrates Court, is replaced by an Information in the District/Supreme Courts. It is still a document which contains the charge(s); however, it may be slightly different to the police-initiated information.
State prosecutions are carried out by the State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Commonwealth prosecutions are carried out by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Once the charge is read to the accused that person will read to the person charged (“the accused”), that person will be asked to “plead” to the charge, that is, to say whether he/she is guilty or not guilty.
If the accused pleads guilty, then the sentencing exercise takes place.
Sentencing is carried out pursuant to the Sentencing Act.
Sentencing is carried out by a judge alone. There is no jury.
The judge can and often does, seek various reports, such as a pre-sentence report, before sentencing. That means the actual imposition of the sentence will be delayed.
If the charge is contested the matter is listed for a directions hearing, similar to the pre-trial conference process that occurs in the Magistrates Court.