Magistrates Court criminal trial self-help guide

This self-help guide contains information that may help you prepare for trial if you are pleading not guilty to a criminal offence in the Magistrates Court and will not have a lawyer to represent you at trial.

The guide:

  • explains how to obtain important information from the prosecution, including disclosure of prosecution witness statements.
  • helps you to prepare your own evidence and arrange to summons witnesses.
  • explains when it may be appropriate to negotiate with the prosecution and how to do this.
  • outlines the procedure of a trial and leads you through the different steps, including tips on examining witnesses.
  • explains what happens when you are found not guilty or guilty, and provides useful advice on what to include in a plea of mitigation if you are convicted.

This guide is not intended to replace legal advice. You should always get legal advice about your individual situation before appearing in court and before entering any plea to your criminal charge.


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.