skip to content
Law Handbook banner image

Preparing for trial

A defendant (the accused) who has been committed for trial before a jury in the District Court or the Supreme Court may have to wait some time after their arraignment before the trial takes place.

If witnesses gave evidence at a committal hearing, it is recorded and typed up in documents called depositions. A copy of these depositions is available from the clerk of the court for the accused to use at the trial [s 286 Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA)].

The defendant is entitled to know if the prosecution intends to call witnesses at the trial who were not called at the committal hearing or if the charges are to be changed. In either case:

  • if the Director of Public Prosecutions (the DPP) intends to call a new witness, a copy of a statement of what this new witness says should be sent to the accused so that the defence can prepare its case; and
  • if the DPP intends to change the charge before trial, a copy of the new information should be sent to the accused.

Sometimes the accused calls a witness, or presents evidence to show that she or he could not have committed the crime because they were not at the scene of the crime but were somewhere else (alibi evidence). The accused must give written notice to the DPP of this evidence within seven days of the accused being committed to the superior Court [Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) s 285C].

Preparing for trial  :  Last Revised: Fri Jan 8th 2016
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.