Your rights after a crime
Victims of crime have the right to know, and be consulted on, certain information about a case.
You also have the right to tell the court about how the crime has impacted you.
Find out more information about making a victim impact statement.
Right to information
You have the right to be informed about all of the following:
- what charges are laid against any offender
- whether bail has been granted
- any bail conditions relating to protecting witnesses
- any changes to these charges
- the reasons for not laying or proceeding with charges
- where and when the offence will come before the court
- the trial process
- rights and responsibilities of the witness - read about going to court as a witness
- reasons why the prosecutor might accept a plea of guilty to a lesser charge
- the outcome of a trial and sentence.
Right to be consulted
For serious crimes that are likely to go to the Supreme Court, such as sexual offences or where there has been bodily harm, you should be consulted before any major decision about the charges.
For example, these could be:
- accepting a plea to a lesser charge
- or when the offender agrees to plead guilty if some of the facts are changed.
This is unless you don’t want to be consulted or can’t be contacted.
Dropping the charges
You can ask to have the charges dropped, but the prosecutor must take the public interest into account before doing this, particularly for serious offences.
For example, in domestic violence cases, you may be pressured to drop the charges. The prosecutor will continue with the charges so other offenders know this behaviour is not acceptable.
For more information on your rights after a crime, you should contact the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Last updated: 27 June 2017