The magistrate can also commit the defendant to a superior court for sentencing [Criminal Procedure Act 1921 (SA) s 113(2)(c)], and may send the case to the Supreme Court specifically for sentencing if:
- it is an offence of treason, murder, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit or assault with intent to commit either of those offences; or
- there is not the required consent; or
- the magistrate is of the opinion that the interests of justice require committal to a superior court (this may be because magistrates are limited to sentencing a maximum of 5 years imprisonment for one offence, or 10 years imprisonment for more than one offence [see Magistrates Court Act 1991 (SA) s 9].
Sentencing is unlikely to proceed straight away. If the defendant is on bail the defendant may be remanded on continuing bail to appear for sentencing at a later date. If the defendant has not been granted bail they are remanded in custody and brought to the court on the day of sentencing by the authorities.
Once a defendant has been committed to a superior court for sentencing, they may only change their plea in the superior court with the permission of the court [Criminal Procedure Act 1921 (SA) s 119].
A defendant should obtain legal advice before pleading guilty at an answer charge hearing.
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