After court

    If the person accused of the crime has been found guilty and sentenced, you may see this as the end of your involvement in the criminal justice system. However, some other things may still happen.

    Appeals

    The offender can appeal to a higher court against their conviction or the length of their sentence. If the case was heard in the Local Court, it will be appealed in the District Court. If it was heard in the District Court or Supreme Court, it will be appealed in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

    The ODPP can appeal against a sentence if they feel it is manifestly inadequate. But the ODPP cannot appeal against an acquittal.

    As an individual, you cannot appeal against an acquittal or a sentence.

    If the court upholds the appeal, the court can make a number of decisions. These decisions include:

    • Changing the sentence given to the offender

    • Ordering a re-trial where you and all other witnesses will have to give evidence again.

    • If you are a victim of sexual assault, your evidence from the first trial might be able to be used in the following trial.

    • The higher court may acquit the offender. This means they are free and the charges are quashed. There are no further court proceedings if the offender is acquitted.

    If the accused has been found guilty, you may be able to go on a Victims Register. A Victims Register can give you some information about the offender, for example when they may be released.

    There are Victims Registers run by Corrective Services NSW, Mental Health Review Tribunal and Juvenile Justice.

    More information victims rights and victims registers

    Submissions to the State Parole Authority

    Sometimes offenders are eligible to apply for unescorted leave or parole. You will be advised of this, if you are on the Victims Register.

    Making a written submission is your opportunity to convey how you feel about the possibility of the offenders presence in the community and any conditions you would like considered if the offender were approved.

    Your submission is looked at along with any other reports to help them make a decision.

    You do not have to do this. Some victims of crime feel that it is important to them. Some have concerns about their safety and wish to comment. Others feel that they have no need to make any submissions. There is no 'right' way.

    If you do decide to make a submission you need to have your name on the Corrective Services Victims Register so they can contact you. If you are not on the register then they have no way of getting in contact with you. 

    Restorative justice and victim-offender conferencing

    Restorative justice is a process that brings together people affected by a particular crime to talk through what happened, how people have been affected and what could be done in an attempt to make things better.

    Victim-offender conferences involving sentenced adult offenders are organised by the Restorative Justice Unit (RJU).

    You can find out more on the on the Restorative Justice Unit website.

    Access to court documents

    If you have been a victim of crime and there were criminal proceedings against the offender, you may be able access court documents. You can make an application to the relevant Local, District, or Supreme Court where the matter was heard.

    Local Court

    In the Local Court, you can make enquiries about making an application for access to material held by the court with the Registrar of the Local Court. Usually you will need to write a letter to the Registrar outlining the reasons why you wish to have access to the material.

    Visit the Local Courts website.

    Children's Court

    To maintain confidentiality and protection of the child or young person involved, copies of transcripts and court orders are generally only provided to those parties directly involved in the court matter. If you are not directly involved in the proceedings, you must explain why you require a copy.

    Visit the Children's Court website

    District Court

    Application should be made to the Registrar of the Court in which the matter was heard, and you should explain why you wish to access the documents.

    Visit the District Court website.

    Supreme Court

    Application should be made to the Registrar of the Court of Criminal Appeal, and you should explain why you wish to access the documents.

    Visit the Supreme Court website.

    Counselling and support

    People sometimes start, or go back, to see a counsellor at this time. Some people feel that their expectations of court have not been met. Others feel that they have had their lives "on hold" until court is over and think that they might benefit from talking this over with someone separate from their everyday lives.

    See our counselling section for more information.