There are two types of cases heard in Australia’s courts. They are civil and criminal cases.
Civil cases deal with non-criminal matters, such as negligence, property disputes and broken contracts. The plaintiff is the person or company making the complaint. They take civil action to get compensation for the actions of, or injury caused by the other person or group.
Criminal cases involve the breaking of statute laws. Criminal offences include road traffic offences, burglary, assault and murder. The person charged is known as the defendant. If the defendant is found guilty, they will receive a criminal conviction and possibly a jail term.
Sentences are punishments handed down by judges. Non-custodial sentences do not involve locking up or detaining a person. Custodial sentences involve some form of detention in custody. Courts also decide whether a person awaiting trial is granted bail or remanded in custody.