Magistrates Court of Western Australia

Criminal Matters

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.

Other useful websites include Legal Aid, Western Australia Police and the Department for Communities.

Representing yourself at a Magistrates Court criminal trial is an online self help guide created by Legal Aid WA and the Geraldton Resource Centre. It contains practical step by step information to assist people who are representing themselves in their own criminal trial in the Magistrates Court. It includes "how to videos" by criminal lawyers, sample letters, documents and FAQs. To use the resource, click the button below and follow the prompts to register and get started.

Representing yourself at a Magistrates Court criminal trial - Link to Legal Aid website


Last updated: 22-Dec-2021

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