The person accused of the crime will be brought before a magistrates’ court, usually within a few days of being charged, to make a plea. This means they will be asked if they want to:
- Admit the crime, and plead guilty – in this case you will not have to go to court
- Deny it, and plead not guilty
The Witness Care Unit within Goleudy will update you after first hearing and will be your single point of contact through to sentencing.
In some cases a specialist police officer will be you single point of contact.
You might have to go to court if they plead not guilty. This means there will be a trial to find out if they are guilty.
You should only have to go to court when you are due to give evidence, and it might be some time before you know if you need to go to court, as legal cases can take a long time to prepare.
You will be told if the suspect is released on bail until the trial takes place, as well as the conditions of their bail. This might include not going to certain places or contacting certain people.