If you have ever seen an episode of Law & Order you would have heard the phrase you have the right to remain silent. Whilst the show is based in the United Stated, here in Australia we advise client to always discuss a matter with a Solicitor prior to participating in an interview. If the Police do interview you, the best advice we can give you is to simply say that “I do not wish to participate in an interview until I have had advices from my solicitor”.
Depending on your charge you may either have your charged heard in the Magistrates Court of Queensland or for more serious charges it may be required for it to be heard in the District Court or the Supreme Court.
If being heard through the Magistrates Court of Queensland you and your representation will attend in the Magistrates Court and either enter a plea of guilty or set it down for a Hearing. It is only if your matter is set down for a hearing that you will usually receive a brief of evidence (copies of the evidence against you) and then you will have a hearing before a Magistrate only.
If your matter is going to a higher court (i.e District Court or Supreme Court) then it will go through a committal process where you will receive a full brief of evidence and then handed up to the higher court (District Court or Supreme Court). Once it is in the higher Court, and note that this could take up to six (6) months to happen, then you will need to either enter a plea of guilty or set the matter down for a trial which will usually be before a Judge and Jury.
You should consider your plea, as by entering a plea of guilty you are confirming that the facts placed before the Court are true however you are often rewarded by entering a plea early on as you have taken responsibility and not wasted public monies.
When your matter proceeds by hearing, you will be given a trial number and a sittings date. This means that if you are trial 3 commencing on a certain date, there will be two (2) other trials before yours is heard and depending on how long they go for (sometimes they do not proceed, sometimes they go for days) is when your trial will commence. During this time it is essential to remain in contact with your solicitor as they may only find out the afternoon before that your trial will commence.