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The Magistrates Court deals with adults, aged 18 or over, required to appear in court after being charged with a criminal offence.
Minor criminal offences, known as 'simple offences', are dealt with in the Magistrates Court. More serious offences, known as 'indictable offences', begin in the Magistrates Court. While some of these serious offences (known as 'either way' offences) may be dealt with in the Magistrates Court, the most serious offences must be sent on to be heard in the District or Supreme courts.
There are several divisions within the Magistrates Court that deal with specific classes of offences and offenders, such as drug and family violence matters. These divisions have greater flexibility to introduce innovative procedures and sentencing.
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