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If police lay charges

Generally the police will lay charges dependant on the wishes of the victim and whether or not they have has sufficient evidence, following established guidelines and criteria, to prove a case. The police also use Department of Public Prosecutor guidelines to determine whether a charge is laid.

Where sufficient evidence exists, the police will lay the charges following an investigation. The victim is represented by the police or the state and does not need to obtain a lawyer.

The police must prove the allegation made 'beyond a reasonable doubt' and in most instances the burden of proof is the responsibility of the police or the State.

Where a serious offence like assault or domestic violence has occurred, the police may lay charges even if the victim doesn’t wish to proceed.

If arrested, the person can be either be:

  • remanded - kept in custody, or 
  • released on bail.


Last updated: 12-Apr-2019

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