A person who has broken a law is said to have committed a criminal offence. If you have been charged with an offence, you should seek legal advice.
The Magistrates’ Court hears two types of criminal offences – summary offences and indictable offences. The prosecuting agency – generally the police – will list the type of charge on the charge sheet.
See the summary offences page or indictable offences page for more information.
If you have been charged, it does not mean you are guilty. It means you are alleged to have committed an offence. Anyone charged is considered innocent until proven guilty and is called the accused person.
To be found guilty, a judicial officer must be satisfied that there is sufficient evidence that you have committed each of the elements of the criminal offence/s that you have been charged with. See the pleading guilty or not guilty page for information about entering a plea.
For more information about criminal offences, see the Victoria Legal Aid website.
This is not a full list of legislation associated with this topic. See the Victorian Government's legislation website for more information.