4513.0 - Criminal Courts, Australia, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/02/2019   
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MAGISTRATES’ COURTS

There were 545,251 defendants finalised in the Magistrates’ Courts during 2017–18, a decrease of 2% on the previous year.

Defendants finalised in the Magistrates’ Courts accounted for 92% of all defendants finalised nationally. (Table 1)

FIGURE 3: NUMBER OF DEFENDANTS FINALISED, Magistrates’ Courts, Method of finalisation, Principal sentence, 2017–18
FIGURE 3: NUMBER OF DEFENDANTS FINALISED(a), Magistrates’ Courts, Method of finalisation, Principal sentence, 2017–18

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Commonwealth of Australia 2019.


Summary characteristics

Of all defendants finalised in the Magistrates’ Courts during 2017–18:

  • 88% had their matter(s) adjudicated (479,718), most of whom were proven guilty (469,732)
  • Three-quarters were male (408,972)
  • The median age was 33 years. (Table 1)

Principal offence

During 2017–18, the four most common principal offences for defendants finalised in the Magistrates’ Courts were:
  • Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences – 38% (205,390), most commonly Regulatory driving offences (128,116) and Driver licence offences (70,262)
  • Acts intended to cause injury – 13% (68,274), predominantly Assault (62,536)
  • Illicit drug offences – 10% (56,638), most commonly possess or use offences (35,790)
  • Offences against justice – 9% (48,170), with nearly half of these defendants charged with breaching a violence or non-violence order (23,842). (Table 1)

Principal Sentence

Of the 469,732 defendants who were proven guilty in the Magistrates’ Courts during 2017–18:
  • 63% were sentenced to a monetary order (298,182), mostly fines, for which the median fine amount (for all offence types) was $500
  • 7% (33,161) were sentenced to custody in a correctional institution
  • 6% (29,878) were sentenced to a community supervision or work order. (Tables 7 and 60)