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Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
for Western Australia

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Prosecution process

An accused person who has been charged with an offence will first appear in the Magistrates Court.

Serious criminal matters will then be sent from the Magistrates Court to either the Supreme of District Court. This is usually when the ODPP becomes involved, except in armed robbery and murder crimes in Perth, where the ODPP becomes involved from the first court appearance.

If the accused pleads guilty, the Supreme or District Court can sentence the accused quite soon after the plea of guilt is made.

If the accused pleads not guilty, the matter will go to trial. If you are a victim of crime, you may be required to give evidence in court, if so, you will be contacted by the ODPP and you will receive a witness summons.

The Victim Support Service can arrange support for you in court, during the trial.

Sometimes an accused will plead guilty when the matter first appears in the Magistrate’s Court. These matters are “fast-tracked” to the District or Supreme Court for sentencing and may be completed within a few months.  Otherwise a matter may take up to 12 months to go to trial if the charges are defended.

If you would like to know what guides our practice in the prosecution of serious crime, then see the Prosecution Guidelines.

Last updated: 25-Jan-2013

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