The first hearing in the District or Supreme Court is called an Arraignment hearing before a Judge.

At the Arraignment hearing:

  • If the accused has already pleaded guilty, the Judge will either listen to sentencing submissions, or organise another time for sentencing submissions to be made - usually within a few weeks.
  • If the accused has pleaded not guilty, the Judge will organise a time for the trial to go ahead. This will usually be several months away.

There can be further hearings before the trial starts.  These are usually to make sure that the prosecution and defence are ready for the trial.