A hearing takes place in the Magistrates’ or Local court. There is no jury and the magistrate makes all the decisions and judgments.
During the hearing:
- Witnesses give their evidence in the court and other forms of evidence may be produced, for example photographs and recordings.
- The prosecution must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
- The magistrate hears all the evidence and decides the verdict.
If the verdict is guilty, the magistrate will either impose a sentence or set a later date to do it. If the verdict is not guilty, the matter is dismissed.
Remember: If your case involves child sexual abuse, and the CDPP decides not to prosecute, or stops the prosecution against a defendant, you may be entitled to a right of review.