Victorian Current Acts

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Admissibility of evidence in absence of accused where preliminary brief served

    (1)     If—

S. 84(1)(a) amended by No. 68/2009 s. 8.

        (a)     under section 25(1) or 80 the Magistrates' Court proceeds to hear and determine a charge in the absence of the accused; and

        (b)     the informant has served a preliminary brief on the accused in accordance with Division 2 of Part 3.2 at least 14 days before the date of the hearing under paragraph (a); and

        (c)     the Magistrates' Court considers that the matters set out in the preliminary brief disclose the offence charged—

the following are, subject to subsections (4) and (5), admissible in evidence, despite the rule against hearsay—

        (d)     the informant's statement in the preliminary brief;

        (e)     any exhibit referred to in the informant's statement.

    (2)     Without limiting any other power conferred on the Magistrates' Court, if the court considers that the matters set out in a preliminary brief do not disclose the offence charged, the court may require the informant to provide additional evidence.

    (3)     The additional evidence referred to in subsection (2) is inadmissible unless—

        (a)     it is in the form of written statements that comply with section 38; and

        (b)     a copy of each statement has been served on the accused at least 14 days before the Magistrates' Court considers the additional evidence.

    (4)     The Magistrates' Court may rule as inadmissible the whole or any part of a preliminary brief, a statement or an exhibit.

S. 84(5) amended by No. 81/2011 s. 10.

    (5)     The criminal record of the accused or a statement that the accused has no previous convictions or infringement convictions, when served in a preliminary brief, is only admissible for the purpose of sentencing in accordance with section 86.

S. 84(6) amended by Nos 68/2009 s. 8, 6/2018 s. 68(Sch. 2 item 38.1).

    (6)     This section does not limit the power of the Magistrates' Court to proceed to hear and determine the charge in the absence of the accused under section 25(1) or 80 on the basis of sworn or affirmed evidence given by or on behalf of the informant if the informant has not served a preliminary brief on the accused.

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