Defended Hearings Overview
A defended hearing in the Local Court is the opportunity to test the prosecution case by cross examining witnesses after the accused has pleaded not guilty. Occasionally, it is also the opportunity of the accused person to give their version of what really occurred – if it becomes necessary to do so.
Defended hearings require intense preparation. Our criminal lawyers thoroughly prepare cases where our client pleads not guilty. We meticulously scrutinise the prosecution case contained in the brief of evidence and offer advice backed by years of experience.
Nothing beats experience. Our accredited criminal law specialist and all of our criminal defence lawyers have experience in running defended hearings. Cross examination is not simply asking questions. It is the deliberate and logical exploration of evidence, the testing of witness reliability and honesty, the exposure of inconsistencies.
Running a defended hearing also involves thinking on your feet and knowing the relevant law, including the rules of evidence, so that legal argument can be presented in a convincing manner.
Our lawyers can advise whether it is necessary to obtain expert evidence to counter or negate the prosecution case. Perhaps it will be necessary to issue a subpoena or two, or to complete a Listing Advice.
When running a defended hearing, it is also important to look ahead – particularly in difficult or complex matters. A defended criminal local court hearing must be conducted properly to preserve rights, if required, upon appeal. Magistrates do not always get it right!