Committal Hearing

A committal hearing is a hearing conducted in the Local Court to determine whether or not an accused person should be committed to stand trial.

The importance of a committal hearing, where appropriate, cannot be overstated.

Whether to hold a committal hearing or not is a question that should be left to an accredited criminal law specialist or at the very least a solicitor with considerable experience in criminal law. The question is answered based on experience, the contents of the brief of evidence, and the desired outcome of a committal hearing.

A committal hearing can be used for the purpose of having the charges dismissed and the accused person discharged without the need to go to trial by jury; or to gather evidence so that the accused person gets a fair trial; or to gather evidence to determine whether it is appropriate to continue to defend the matter or alternatively make application for a No Bill application to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

If you are charged with a matter that is strictly indictable or a table 1 offence – (or if you do not know what that means!) then you should seek immediate advice about whether application should be made for a committal hearing.

There is no right to have a committal hearing – application must be made that satisfies the legislative requirements applicable.

Contact our accredited criminal law specialist – accredited by the Law Society for immediate and accurate advice on your matter. You can contact our urgent advice line or our Sydney office or Parramatta Office and speak to a criminal defence solicitor.

We attend Courts all over NSW – go to Courts That We Attend for a full list of the courts we attend. We also accept legal aid assignments for criminal trial matters. Even if your matter is in a country or rural location, having one of our experts appear for you could make the difference to the outcome – in addition, you might want a criminal lawyer who is not part of your local community and is totally independent of to look after your matter. Call us immediately.

Committal Hearing FAQs

Why Have A Committal Hearing?

To afford the accused person fairness at their trial by exploring evidence in certain areas in a local court hearing prior to a trial. A committal hearing might also result in the accused person being discharged because the evidence is incapable of satisfying a properly instructed jury. Another example of a worthwhile committal hearing is where as a result of the evidence obtained it leads to a ‘no bill’ application being made so that the charges are withdrawn prior to trial.

How Do You Have A Committal Hearing?

An experienced criminal lawyer will recognize whether or not it is desirable to run a committal hearing, and make application for the cross examination of witnesses on specific areas of cross examination. Depending on which section of the legislation applies, the defence must establish that there are either special reasons or substantial reasons why in the interests of justice a witness should be cross examined.Deciding whether or not to apply for a committal hearing is something that should be determined by a criminal law specialist, preferably an accredited specialist in criminal law. Failure to appreciate the potential benefits of a committal hearing and failure to make proper application can severely prejudice an accused person.