Prosecuting crimes: The legal process

Main steps in a prosecution

Steps in prosecutionThe main steps in the prosecution of a serious crime, from the police investigation and arrest until the end of the legal process.


TrialsWhat happens in the District and Supreme Courts before a criminal trial starts, and the main steps in a trial.


Image of hammerWhat happens in a sentence hearing, how the courts decide on a sentence, and the sentences available in NSW.


AppealsWho can appeal, what can be appealed, appeal deadlines, and what happens in an appeal.

Local Court prosecutions

Local CourtNot all serious criminal cases are transferred to the District or Supreme Court. Some stay in Local Court, where prosecutions are less complex and usually a lot faster.

Crimes involving mental illness

Mental IllnessWhen there are questions about the accused’s mental health or capacity, the legal steps, verdict and penalties can all be different than in other criminal cases.

When the accused is a young person

Accused young personHow the courts deal with serious crimes when the person charged is under 18 years old.