Preparing your evidence - Criminal trials

You need to:

  • Get doctor’s reports and photographs of any injuries you suffered. Do this as soon as possible. You may also need to call your doctor as a witness.
  • Collect all of the physical evidence and documents that are relevant to your case. Do this as soon as possible.
  • Prepare your own statement, sometimes called a proof of evidence, and written statements from all the witnesses you will call to give evidence. This is usually done after you have received disclosure from the prosecution.

Preparing your witness statement 

  • Go through the disclosure papers, including every prosecution witness statement.
  • Read through the Statement of Material Facts and witness statements carefully. Think about which facts you disagree with, and which facts have not been mentioned by the prosecution.
  • Prepare a response to each piece of information provided in the prosecution statements.
  • Add those responses into your own witness statement.
  • Make a list of the facts that are important to your defence and that you must remember to tell the magistrate when you are giving evidence. Include those in your own witness statement.

Important! You aren't allowed to read from your witness statement when giving evidence in court. You need to tell the magistrate what happened, in your own words. But having it written down before you go into court will help you prepare for trial and work out the important parts of your case.

Do I need to tell the prosecution anything about my case before trial?

The only evidence you are required to disclose or give to the prosecutor before the trial date is evidence about an alibi or from an expert witness.

You must write and tell the prosecution at least 14 days before the trial to let them know of any alibi evidence and expert evidence you want to rely on. Keep a copy of the letter for your records.


Useful documents


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.