The Court Process

In Victoria, the State acts on behalf of the community to prosecute people who commit serious crimes. 

These serious crimes, which are referred to as ‘indictable’ crimes are prosecuted by the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

For matters that proceed through the legal system, the main stages of the court process are:

  • investigation
  • committal
  • case conferences (held at various stages throughout the process)
  • trial
  • plea hearing
  • sentence
  • appeal.

A different process applies to matters where the accused person is prosecuted under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997. This process is explained further on the Prosecuting Crimes (Mental Impaiment) page.

Having an understanding of the court process will assist you to prepare for your involvement in that process.

The prosecution process flowchart (downloadable from the 'More Information' box) details the different stages of the court process.