Once a child is charged with a criminal offence, the police submit a court attendance notice to the children's court. If the young individual was granted bail, it is obligatory for them to appear in court on the specified date mentioned in the court attendance notice. Typically, this court appearance takes place a few weeks subsequent to the laying of charges. However, if the young person was remanded by the police, the case will be promptly brought before a court. During this hearing, they will have the opportunity to request bail or to plead guilty, thereby resolving the charges immediately.
Should a plea of not guilty be entered, the proceedings will be postponed, allowing the police to organise and present a 'brief of evidence.' After reviewing this evidence, if the young person sustains their plea of not guilty, the court will schedule an adjournment for a defended hearing.
In the event that the young person is declared not guilty during the hearing, the charges will be dismissed. Conversely, if the young person is deemed guilty at the hearing, the Magistrate will proceed to administer a sentence. In select cases, the Children’s Court may postpone the matter in order to acquire reports or assess the defendant for various programs before determining the appropriate sentence.
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