Victorian Current Acts

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Court may issue summons or warrant to arrest

    (1)     On the filing of a charge-sheet under section 6, an application may be made to a registrar of the Magistrates' Court for the issue of—

        (a)     a summons to answer to the charge directed to the accused; or

        (b)     a warrant to arrest in order to compel the attendance of the accused—

unless a notice to appear has been served on the accused under Division 2.

Note to s. 12(1) inserted by No. 1/2016 s. 22(2).


There is a presumption in favour of proceeding by summons if an accused is a child—see section 345 of the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 .

    (2)     An application under subsection (1)(b) must be made by the informant personally but an application under subsection (1)(a) may be made by the informant or a person on behalf of the informant.

    (3)     An application under subsection (1) may be made by the applicant in person or by post.

    (4)     On an application under subsection (1), the registrar must, if satisfied that the charge discloses an offence known to law, issue—

        (a)     a summons to answer to the charge; or

        (b)     subject to subsection (5), a warrant to arrest.

S. 12(5) amended by No. 6/2018 s. 68(Sch. 2 item 38.1).

    (5)     A registrar of the Magistrates' Court must not issue in the first instance a warrant to arrest unless satisfied by sworn or affirmed evidence, whether oral or by affidavit, that—

        (a)     it is probable that the accused will not answer a summons; or

        (b)     the accused has absconded, is likely to abscond or is avoiding service of a summons that has been issued; or

        (c)     a warrant is required or authorised by any other Act or for other good cause.


1     If an accused fails to appear in answer to a summons, sections 80 and 81 provide for the issue of a warrant to arrest the accused. Section 330 provides for the issue of a warrant to arrest a person who has been remanded in custody or granted bail to attend a hearing but fails to attend.

2     Section 29 of the Magistrates' Court Act 1989 enables a magistrate to exercise the powers of a registrar to issue a summons or warrant.

        S. 13 amended by No. 68/2009 s. 4(a).

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