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Deciding the charge (prior to the arraignment)

All Informations (the formal charges) in the superior Courts are filed in the name of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), whose officers prosecute the case on behalf of the State [Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) s 275].

The Director of Public Prosecutions decides what the information should be in the superior Court. All matters which are to be committed to a superior court are handled by the DPP. All evidence will have been forwarded to the DPP committal unit by the investigating Police officers.

After the committal, the DPP, considers the evidence so as to decide whether or not to proceed with the case and if so with what charges to proceed. It is not necessary to use the same charge on which the defendant was origionally charged. New charges may be added or an entirely different charge may be used instead. The charge(s) upon which the accused will be arraigned will be set out on an information which is filed with the superior Court before arraignment day. This information should be made available to the accused before she or he is required to enter a plea.

If the DPP considers the case against the defendant is not strong enough, she or he can decide not to lay an information and the case will come to an end at the arraignment day [Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) s 276]. The DPP may also, at a later stage after the first arraignment decide not to proceed with the case. The prosecution then formally tells the Court and the defendant that they will not prosecute the case any further by announcing a nolle prosequi (no prosecution) at the Court.

Pre-Committal Process  :  Last Revised: Wed Mar 14th 2018
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