Before the hearing

When you first enter the court building for your hearing, you need to see a Registrar at the Criminal Coordinator’s office. This office organises the criminal cases at the Magistrates’ Court. The Registrar at the Coordinator’s desk will tell you which courtroom your hearing is in and ask you some questions:

Pleading guilty or not guilty?

The Coordinator will ask you whether you’re pleading guilty or not guilty. If you are pleading not guilty, the Coordinator will adjourn the case to a later date, so the police officer who charged you can arrange to attend the hearing and both you and the Prosecutor can prepare for the hearing.

Ready to go ahead with the hearing?

If you need more time to prepare your case, or to seek legal advice, you must make an application to the Registrar at the Coordinator's office for an adjournment (a delay until a later date) if it is the first time the matter is going to court. If it is not the first time, you will need to attend your hearing and ask the Magistrate for an adjournment.

Do you need to see the Duty Lawyer?

Victoria Legal Aid has Duty Lawyers at most courts. However, it is better to get legal advice before you go to court. Duty Lawyers can give legal advice and possibly represent you in court if you are pleading guilty. For more information about Duty Lawyers, see the Victoria Legal Aid website: