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Email: [email protected]
Street Address: 19-23 Lambton Road Broadmeadow NSW 2292
Postal Address: PO Box 148 Broadmeadow NSW 2292
Phone: (02) 4915 5200
Days open: Mon - Fri
Broadmeadow is the geographic center of Newcastle city. Its main commercial hub is located at the “Nineways”.
Children’s Courts hear a variety of criminal and civil matters relating to young people. Children’s Court matters are heard before a Magistrate. Generally, matters in the Children’s Court are closed to the public and are kept secret for the protection of the young people involved, as the court considers the best interests of the child to be of paramount importance. The following information applies to Broadmeadow Children’s Court as well as all other Children’s Courts in Australia.
Children’s Court proceedings are governed by the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (NSW).
Most criminal matters involving an accused person under the age of 18 are dealt with by the Children’s Court, as long as the person is charged before they turn 21. The only exceptions to this are for Serious Children’s Indictable Offences (SCIO) and most traffic offences. The case will be heard in the Children’s Court if the offence occurred when the accused person was under the age of 18, even if they have since grown older. For serious offences (SCIOs) and traffic offences, the case will be heard at the Local, District or Supreme Court.
The Criminal division of the Children’s Court hears pleas of guilty, defended hearings, bail applications, and some traffic offences.
The Broadmeadow Children’s Court can also:
Under Section 5 of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act, the court conclusively presumes that no child who is under the age of 10 can be guilty of an offence. If the child is under 14 years of age, there is a rebuttable presumption, in that a prosecution must prove that the child knew their conduct was seriously wrong in a criminal sense. This is known as the principle of Doli Incapax.
There is a push by a number of bodies to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 years of age to 14 years of age. The rationale behind this change is that there is a presumption that children under the age of 14 lack the capacity to be criminally responsible for their actions.
Studies have shown the younger the child is when coming into contact with the criminal justice system, the more likely they are to re-offend.
If a young person is found guilty or pleads guilty to an offence in the Children’s Court, it is important that the appropriate penalty or order is imposed. The court will consider the age of the young person, their background, the circumstances of the offending, and whether they have any history of committing a criminal offence.
Sentencing options in the Children’s Court involve a focus on diversion and rehabilitation, rather than punishment. It is of paramount importance to the young person that the most lenient order is imposed. Orders in the Children’s Court include dismissal without caution, dismissal with caution, caution, fines, good behaviour bonds, probation orders, community service orders, and control orders (orders placing the young person in detention which may be suspended in some circumstances).
There is a right of Appeal from the Children’s Court in relation to a finding of guilt or sentence. Appeals are mostly heard in the District Court of NSW or in the Supreme Court of NSW on questions of law. You must lodge an appeal within 28 days of the order imposed in the Children’s Court.
Our lawyers travel to Broadmeadow Children’s Court to defend all criminal matters, and we have a track record of getting outstanding results for our clients in this court.
We understand that it is extremely difficult for young people and their families when navigating the criminal justice system. Our lawyers take a delicate and caring approach with such matters to ensure that our clients get the best possible outcome.
We also attend all other courts throughout NSW and the ACT.
If you require assistance, contact us on 1300 668 484 or book a free consultation to discuss your case.
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