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INDICTMENTS IN QUEENSLAND

WHAT IS AN INDICTMENT?

 

An indictment is a document formally charging a person with a criminal offence. The indictment is drafted by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (“DPP“).  The DPP presents the indictment in the District Court or Supreme Court (this means they give it to the Court).

 

The indictment lists each offence a defendant is charged with. For each offence on an indictment, the following details will be included:

  • the date of the alleged offence.
  • the suburb where the offence is alleged to have occurred.
  • the text of the charge for the offence.
  • the name of any complainant for the offence.

 

WHO CAN SIGN AN INDICTMENT?

 

There are a limited number of persons who can sign an indictment, namely:

 

  • the Director of Public Prosecutions;
  • a Crown Prosecutor; or
  • a person who has been given the commission to prosecute.

 

WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE THE INDICTMENT IS PRESENTED IN THE DISTRICT OR SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND?

 

Before an indictment is presented in the Court, the DPP sends the defence:

  • a document called a Notice of Trial. The Notice of Trial tells you the date the indictment will be presented in the Court. It will say which Court (the District or Supreme) and the place where the Court is located (for example Brisbane). If you have a lawyer acting for you, you do not need to go to court. However, if you do not have a lawyer, then you must attend Court. If you do not attend Court, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
  • a copy of the indictment being presented.

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE INDICTMENT IS PRESENTED IN THE DISTRICT OR SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND?

 

The person appearing on behalf of the DPP will tell the Judge they are presenting an indictment. The Judge will expect the defence to advise them what is to happen. For example, your case could be listed for a further mention so you can have a meeting with a barrister, listed for a pre-trial hearing, listed for trial or listed for sentence hearing. There are many possibilities of what can happen when the indictment is presented in court. The main thing is, it is important you know what you want to ask for before you go to court.

 

There are a limited number of persons who can sign an indictment, namely:

  • the Director of Public Prosecutions;
  • a Crown Prosecutor; or
  • a person who has been given the commission to prosecute.

 

WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE THE INDICTMENT IS PRESENTED IN THE DISTRICT OR SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND?

Before an indictment is presented in the Court, the DPP sends the defence:

  • a document called a Notice of Trial. The Notice of Trial tells you the date the indictment will be presented in the Court. It will say which Court (the District or Supreme) and the place where the Court is located (for example Brisbane). If you have a lawyer acting for you, you do not need to go to court. However, if you do not have a lawyer, then you must attend Court. If you do not attend Court, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
  • a copy of the indictment being presented.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE INDICTMENT IS PRESENTED IN THE DISTRICT OR SUPREME COURT OF QUEENSLAND?

The person appearing on behalf of the DPP will tell the Judge they are presenting an indictment. The Judge will expect the defence to advise them what is to happen. For example, your case could be listed for a further mention so you can have a meeting with a barrister, listed for a pre-trial hearing, listed for trial or listed for sentence hearing. There are many possibilities of what can happen when the indictment is presented in court. The main thing is, it is important you know what you want to ask for before you go to court.