After the magistrate has heard all the evidence and listened to the summaries from you and the prosecutor, they will decide whether you are guilty or not guilty of the offence.
If you are successful in defending the charges against you, you will be found not guilty and the charge will be dismissed. You are then free to leave the court.
The prosecutor cannot appeal the local court's decision to a higher court, such as the district court. In some cases you may be able to ask that your legal costs be paid (if you have any).
For more information, see
If you have pleaded not guilty to more than one offence, the magistrate will need to make a decision about your guilt for each offence. It is possible for the magistrate to find you not guilty for some offences and guilty for other offences.
If you lose the case, the magistrate may sentence you for the offence on the same day or on another day.
Depending on the seriousness of the offence and whether you already have a criminal record, the court may make orders about:
- a sentencing assessment
report, which looks at what type of penalty would be suitable for you
- assessing your suitability for a program like the Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment (MERIT) Program, if you have a problem with illegal drugs
- adjourning your case to allow you to complete a driver education program, such as the Traffic Offenders Intervention Program.
It is important that if you go to court for a hearing, you are prepared to make submissions about sentence in case you are found guilty, even if you pleaded not guilty.
For more information on how to prepare your submissions and what sentence the court can give you, see
What happens next?
For more information on what happens after a decision is made, see