Trial

Where the accused is charged with a less serious offence, the trial will take place before a magistrate in the Magistrates Court.  Where the accused is charged with a more serious offence, the trial will take place before a judge and jury or, if the accused so decides, before a judge alone.

The purpose of the trial is to have all relevant and admissible evidence put before the court. It is then for the magistrate to decide, in less serious matters, whether the accused is guilty or not guilty. Or, in more serious matters, for the jury to decide, after being directed by the judge, whether the accused is guilty or not guilty.

You will usually need to give oral evidence before the court. This will involve telling the court what happened in response to questions from the prosecutor.  The lawyer for the accused will then be given an opportunity to ask further questions of you.

The prosecutor will speak to you before the trial to go through your written statement with you and discuss giving evidence in court.

Prior to trial, if the matter is being dealt with by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, a Witness Assistance Officer is available to discuss the court process with you and to take you on a guided court tour if you wish.  A Child Witness Assistance Officer, from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, is also available to inform and support child victims and witnesses.

You can take a virtual tour of the various courts at the Courts Administration Authority of South Australia website