Local Court NSW
The Local Court is the lowest court in the judiciary hierarchy. However, the Local Court is the busiest in the legal system. Most matters start and finish in the Local Court. The Local Court can impose a maximum of two years imprisonment per offence, and no more than a maximum of five years for multiple sentences. The most common kinds of offences in the Local Court are traffic offences, assault and theft. The Local Court also hears applications for Apprehended Violence Orders.
District Court NSW
The District Court is the intermediate court in the judiciary hierarchy. It has appellate jurisdiction and is the largest trial court. It hears the majority of serious criminal offences. The majority of people who have criminal matters in the District Court plead guilty. For those who wish to defend the charges against them, the majority of trials are trial by jury, however in some cases by judge alone. The District Court deals with appeals against convictions from the Local Court, it also deals with severity appeals in relation to penalties imposed in the Local Court.
Supreme Court NSW
The Supreme Court is the highest court in NSW. The Supreme Court hears the most serious criminal matters, such as murder. Appeals can be made to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal which is made up of members of the Supreme Court.