What happens?

When the police finish their investigation, charges may be filed against the alleged offender or the person the police believe committed the crime. That person will then appear in court.

When a person is charged, the first hearing is in the Magistrates' Court. Where the accused person has committed less serious offences, the matter will be heard in the Magistrates' Court and the police act as prosecutors. These crimes are called summary offences.

Where the accused person has committed serious offences ('indictable' offences), the matter will be heard in the County Court or the Supreme Court. An Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) solicitor and a barrister engaged by the OPP will be responsible for prosecuting the crime in court. The information collected by the police is given to the OPP to use in court.

Further information on investigating crime, including reporting a crime and making a statement, can be found on the Victims of Crime website.

More about the Court Process