​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Going to court​​​​

    Electing to go to court

    You may want to elect (choose) to go to court because:

    • you don't believe you broke the law, and you want to challenge the fine. If you challenge the fine, you may enter a plea of not guilty and your case will be given a hearing date, where a magistrate will decide whether you are guilty or not guilty of the offence.
    • you did break the law but you had a reason for breaking the law and you think the penalty is too harsh. If you want to explain what happened to a magistrate, you may enter a plea of guilty and you will be sentenced by a magistrate who will decide on the penalty.

    This section covers:

    • Why elect (chose) to go to court?
    • When to elect to go to court (and whether you are within the time limit)
    • How to elect to go to court
    • What happens next?

    If you go to court, the court may order that you pay a higher fine, and you may also be ordered to pay court costs. Before electing to go to court, you should get legal advice.

    If you have received a criminal infringement notice (CIN) and you go to court, your matter will be heard by the local court as if you had been charged with the criminal offence. All CINs that are heard by the local court will appear on your criminal history. Before electing to go to court, you should get legal advice.

    For more information, see Electing to go to court.

    Hint icon If you have elected to go to court because you do not think you should have been fined, you can write to the prosecutor handling the matter or the officer in charge of your case and ask them to drop the case against you. Your letter should explain why you think you are not guilty and provide any evidence that supports your views. This is called making a 'written representation'. Before making a written representation you should get legal advice.

    ​Mention

    The first time that you go to court is called a 'mention'. The purpose of the mention is for the court to find out whether you want to plead guilty or not guilty.

    For more information, see Mention.

    Pl​eading guilty

    If you plead guilty, your case will usually be heard on the same day and you will be sentenced for the offence.

    This section covers:

    • Preparing for court (including submissions and character references)
    • Changing your plea
    • Presenting your guilty plea at worked
    • Pleading guilty in writing.

    For more information, see Pleading guilty.

    Pleading not guilty

    If you plead not guilty, the court will usually list your case for a hearing on another date and give directions about the:

    • number of witnesses required to attend the hearing
    • length of the hearing
    • date that any evidence needs to be served on (given to) you before the hearing
    • return date for any subpoenas.

    This section has information about:

    • what will happen at the mention
    • how to prepare for the hearing
    • how to present your case at the hearing
    • pleading not guilty in writing, if you can't go to court on the first date for the mention.

    For more information, see Pleading not guilty.

    ​Costs

    If you go to court and you are sentenced, you may receive a fine. You may also be ordered to pay other costs.

    This section has information about:

    • ​the court costs levy 
    • the victims support levy
    • professional costs

    For more information, see Costs in fine cases.

    Case study

    ​​Case study - Charlie and the policeCase study icon

    Charlie was driving along the highway when there was an accident in front of him. The car in front of Charlie rear-ended another car and Charlie knocked into the car immediately in front of his car. A police officer attended the scene and Charlie was fined for negligent driving. The police officer says that Charlie failed to keep a proper lookout, and failed to keep a safe distance from the car in front. Charlie thinks that he did everything he could to drive safely and that the accident could not have been prevented. ​​

    Picture of defendant asking a witness questions in court