The Victims Services Beta website is now open for public testing. Visit www.beta-victimsservices.justice.nsw.gov.au to learn more.
Victims Access Line 1800 633 063
Aboriginal Contact Line 1800 019 123 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
The accused person will be at court for the hearing or the trial and will be in court to hear all the evidence in the case against him or her. If they are on bail, they will enter and leave the courthouse through the public entrance.
If the accused is in jail waiting for the court case, they will be brought to court on the day and kept in the cells that are in the court complex. When they come into the court, they are brought into the court through a separate entrance with two officers from the Corrective Services NSW.
If the accused is on bail, you may see the accused and their friends or family around the court complex.
If you are giving evidence in the courtroom, you will be able to see the accused in court. If you are under 18 or an adult victim in a sexual assault case, you may be able to use a screen in the courtroom. If you are giving your evidence using closed circuit television you should not see the accused while you are giving evidence.
In a sexual assault case, you can not be cross-examined directly by the accused if they are unrepresented.
If the accused says something to you, you should tell the police or the prosecutor.
The accused will be in the court while the case is being heard. The accused is in court for the whole of the court case, including choosing the jury and the legal arguments. The accused usually sits in a seating area called the dock. Sometimes they will be seated behind their lawyer.
If you get upset, the Judge or the lawyers might ask you if you would like a break or you can ask for a break. It is best not to look at the accused because it might distract or unsettle you. More tips about giving evidence.
There are separate waiting rooms for victims and witnesses in most courthouses. Before coming to court, talk to the police, the prosecutor or your support person about when and where to meet. The police or support person will show you where to wait.
The Magistrate, Judge or Jury have to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offence they have been charged with.
If the Magistrate, Judge or Jury are not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt then they must find the accused "not guilty".
If the accused is found not guilty, they are acquitted of the charges and are free to leave the court.
If you have any worries about getting to and from court or about the accused, please talk about these with the police, the prosecutor or your support people.
New South Wales law says that the accused does not have to give evidence.
Sometimes the accused may not have a lawyer. They are called an " unrepresented accused".
This means that the accused person will be asking you the questions in cross-examination. However, if you are a victim of sexual assault an unrepresented accused cannot ask you questions. In that case another person will ask the accused's questions for them.
The Magistrate or Judge will make sure the accused person behaves properly in court and does not ask questions that are rude, insulting or irrelevant.