When do I need to appear at Court in person for a Criminal matter?

29 JUL 2020


With the ongoing concern around the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chief Magistrate of the Local Court of NSW has recently issued a memorandum reiterating the requirements and expectations around appearances in person for Local Court matters.

If a Defendant seeks an adjournment to obtain legal advice the first time their matter is before the Court, this can be done in advance by email, and they are not required to attend in person.

Likewise, if a Defendant is entering a plea and seeking an adjournment for hearing or for sentence, this can be done in advance by email, and they are not required to attend in person.

Applications to vary bail conditions that are consented to by Police can also be dealt with by the Court without an appearance in person.

A Defendant will need to attend Court in person when their matter is listed for Hearing or sentence, except where they are legally represented and are being sentenced for an offence with a maximum penalty of a fine only. It is also important to remember that if a Defendant or their solicitor fails to appear the Court may finalise their matter in their absence.

Covid-19 safety precautions have led to longer wait times and crowding outside some Courts. Our experienced criminal defence lawyers can work with the Court to ensure that you only attend when required, so that your matter can be resolved quickly and safely.

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

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