District Court of Western Australia

Criminal Procedure

The criminal jurisdiction of the District Court is responsible for dealing with criminal matters that have been committed from other courts. As an intermediate Trial Court it sits between the Magistrates and Supreme Court in the Courts hierarchy.

The District Court deals with serious criminal offences that must be tried before a judge and jury or judge sitting alone. The court deals with offences such as robbery, assault with intent to commit robbery, criminal damage, serious assaults, sex assaults, serious fraud and commercial theft, burglary and drug offences.

When a matter is committed to the District Court, an accused will enter a plea that will determine how they proceed through the District Court. For a plea of guilty the matter will be scheduled to proceed to a sentence date before a Judge. For a plea of not guilty the matter will be scheduled to proceed to a Trial and it will then have Trial dates allocated.

In the vast majority of criminal cases a jury of 12 decides if an accused on Trial is guilty or not guilty. The District Court also sits on location in Albany, Broome, Bunbury, Busselton, Carnarvon, Derby, Esperance, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie Karratha, Kununurra and South Hedland.

Last updated: 1-Jul-2019

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