Victorian Current Acts

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When an indictable offence may be heard and determined summarily

    (1)     The Magistrates' Court may hear and determine summarily a charge for an offence to which section 28(1) applies if—

        (a)     the court considers that the charge is appropriate to be determined summarily, having regard to the matters in subsection (2); and

        (b)     the accused consents to a summary hearing.


1     Section 82 provides for a summary hearing without consent in the case of a corporate accused which fails to appear in answer to a summons.

2     Section 168(3) provides that a charge transferred by order under that section must be heard and determined summarily.

    (2)     For the purposes of subsection (1)(a), the Magistrates' Court must have regard to—

        (a)     the seriousness of the offence including—

              (i)     the nature of the offence; and

              (ii)     the manner in which the offence is alleged to have been committed, the apparent degree of organisation and the presence of aggravating circumstances; and

              (iii)     whether the offence forms part of a series of offences being alleged against the accused; and

              (iv)     the complexity of the proceeding for determining the charge; and

S. 29(2)(b) amended by No. 68/2009 s. 6.

        (b)     the adequacy of sentences available to the court, having regard to the criminal record of the accused; and

        (c)     whether a co-accused is charged with the same offence; and

        (d)     any other matter that the court considers relevant.

    (3)     A legal practitioner appearing for an accused may, on behalf of the accused, consent to a summary hearing of a charge for an indictable offence.

    (4)     Nothing in subsection (2) applies to a proceeding in the Children's Court.

    (5)     If a body corporate and a natural person are jointly charged with an indictable offence which may be heard and determined summarily, the Magistrates' Court must not hear and determine the charge summarily against either of the accused unless—

        (a)     each of them consents to a summary hearing; or

        (b)     if the body corporate fails to appear in the proceeding, the natural person consents to a summary hearing and the court proceeds under section 82 to hear and determine the charge in the absence of the body corporate.

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