As most people have limited contact with our criminal justice system, it is often surprising for them to discover that, unlike in America, it is not the victim of a crime that ‘presses’ the charges in Australia but it is in fact the Police.

There are many instances where a person calls the Police to make a complaint about being the victim of a crime, only for the Police to investigate the matter and decide to charge them instead. There are also instances where the victim doesn’t want charges laid but the Police choose to do so anyway. Sometimes a victim later decides that they don’t want to proceed with any charges against the offender, and yet the Police continue with the Prosecution.

Ultimately it is a decision for Police to decide whether they are going to charge a person with an offence and how that Prosecution is going to proceed. Once they are involved it is out of your hands.

It is important that any person who is charged with an offence obtains legal advice before giving a statement to the Police and before going to Court.

Do you need assistance with an upcoming Court matter? Contact our Criminal Law Team today on (02) 4651 4800.