Sometimes a matter will not proceed to a court trial or hearing.

An offender is not charged

If the police cannot find an offender for the crime or there is not enough evidence to go to court, you should be contacted by the police investigator to tell you the reasons why.

This doesn’t mean that the police do not believe you, or that you weren’t a victim of crime.

You can still:

Read more about charges.

An official caution

The police may issue an official caution if the offender is under 18 years old. This is usually used for a first offence and must be appropriate in the circumstances.

If the offender is over 18 years old, police may issue an official caution for a shop stealing offence or for minor drug offences (such as use and possession offences).

A diversion notice

The diversion program is an alternative to the normal court process. The offender may have to do community service or other things such as writing an apology letter or cleaning up graffiti. Diversion conditions can also include a monetary penalty, such as a donation paid to a charity organisation.

Anyone can apply for diversion throughout the court process, but the police must agree that the diversion program is appropriate based on the details of the case. The magistrate or judicial registrar must then also decide that the accused person is suitable for a diversion program.

For more information, visit the Magistrates' Court (External link) website.