Witness summons

Understand what is required of you as a witness at court, what to expect during the hearing, and what happens afterwards.

You may be summoned to appear before a court hearing as a witness.

Before the hearing

Unless you are told otherwise, no action is required by you prior to the date of hearing.

If you have been asked to bring anything with you to court, such as documents, make sure that you have these ready to bring with you well before the hearing date.

Prior to the hearing, the prosecutor may speak to you about the case. This is called a ‘conference’ and is an informal discussion which may occur by telephone, at a police station, or in a court building.

There is a chance that the lawyer who represents the accused person (called the defence lawyer), may contact you to discuss your evidence. You do not have to speak to this person.

You should contact the police member responsible for the case (called the informant) if you are approached by the defence lawyer, as this may affect the case.

Whether you are required to attend

If you are summonsed to attend court, you must attend unless otherwise informed by the prosecutor or the informant.

If you have any queries about when you are required to attend court, you should contact the police informant or the prosecutor who has been assigned the case.

Going to court

Victim impact statements

If you are the victim of a crime, you are entitled to make a Victim Impact Statement for the Court explaining the impact that the crime has had on you personally.

If the accused person is found guilty, the Court will take into account the impact the crime has had in your life when determining the appropriate sentence for the accused.

The police informant can provide you with a Victim Impact Statement form.

Victims of crime compensation

If you are the victim of a violent crime you may seek assistance from the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT).

To find out if you are eligible visit the VOCAT website.

Direct phone numbers of your nearest VOCAT registry can be found on the website.

Alternatively, email help@vocat.vic.gov.au.