Going to court
The court case
The majority of criminal cases are heard in a magistrates' court. A very small percentage of cases are heard in the Crown Court.
Before the trial
Before the trial it is a good idea to find out as much as you can about what will happen in court.
For some people the process of giving evidence in court can be very difficult. Children under 17, victims of sexual offences and people with communication difficulties are some examples of people who may need special help.
The Courts Service has a legal requirement to make sure you have a separate waiting area and seat in the courtroom away from the defendant's family, where possible. They will also try to make sure that you do not have to wait more than two hours to give evidence.
Magistrates and judges are responsible for deciding what sentence to impose on people found guilty of a crime.
After the trial
After the trial the Crown Prosecution Service will explain the sentence to you and answer any questions you may have.