Trials Overview

A trial before the District Court or Supreme Court is a masterpiece unfolding where despite the advanced warning of the anticipated storyline, a skillful criminal law advocate will give the jury assistance in finding the truth. The truth and that storyline might be vastly different.

A defence lawyer must know when to object, must know the applicable law, Court etiquette and procedure, must know the prosecution case as well as the defence case, and must think on their feet. There is no margin for error. The potential penalties are always severe and involve the risk of imprisonment. Those factors alone should make it obvious that you need experienced lawyers representing you.

Don’t take chances with your criminal trial. Contact our accredited criminal law specialist for advice.

We travel all over NSW. Many clients living in country areas do not want a local lawyer representing them for various reasons. We brief experienced barristers – not beginners, not those with interests in multiple areas of the law – only those that are committed to working with us as part of a criminal defence team.

If you have a matter that will eventually go to trial, no matter where it is at, no matter what stage of the proceedings the case is at, we invite you to contact our specialist criminal lawyers. We will give you appropriate advice, disclose our fees, answer your concerns, and above all, work very hard on your case. Preparation for trial can be extremely demanding. There may be subpoenas to issue, witnesses to conference, photos to take, scenes to visit, multiple conferences with you (which may include gaol visits), recorded interviews to listen to, CCTV footage to watch, examine DNA materials and reports, consider medical psychological or psychiatric reports and much more.

Trials Articles

Trials FAQs

How is a jury selected?

Potential jurors are summonsed to attend Court – providing they are eligible to attend jury duty. They are generally formed into groups of between 24 and 36 people called the jury panel. The jury panel then attends the court and the accused person confirms the plea of not guilty. The crown prosecutor gives an indication of what the matter is about and the names of potential witnesses – to make sure that a potential jury member does not have a personal difficulty in being able to fairly sit as a juror and to make sure that the potential juror does not know a witness.

Each member of the jury panel is given a number and the numbers of 12 people are drawn from a box. Those 12 then go to the jury area where both the prosecution and the accused have the right to challenge up to 3 people. No questions can be asked of the jury members – selection of a jury is very much a product of the experience of the criminal lawyer. There is no substitute for experience. If a potential jury member is challenged, they stand down and another number is drawn.

Why do some juries get discharged during trials?

Juries can be discharged if some members are found to be not paying attention; if a witness discloses something that is unfairly prejudicial to the accused and not permitted by the rules of evidence; where it is shown that jurors have been making their own inquiries about the matter instead of limiting their attention to the evidence; where a juror becomes ill during a trial and it is considered unfair to the accused to proceed – there are many potential reasons. Ultimately, the trial of an accused person must be fair.