See a lawyer before you go to court.
If you can’t see a lawyer, go to court early on your court date if you are in Darwin or call the court after 8:30am on the day you are going to court elsewhere in the NT.
Talk to the duty lawyer who has an office at the court.

Talk to a lawyer about what will happen in court.

If you do not go to court the police might arrest you. If you can’t get to court on the right date, talk to a lawyer or go to the court on an earlier date.

Text based resources about this topic


Plain English Legal Dictionary

A dictionary of general court, legal and criminal law terms.

Going to Court

Booklet explaining what you should do to prepare for court and what will happen at court.

Watch videos about this topic


What’s the law – the Australian Legal System

A video explain how the legal system works in Australia.


Resources to listen to


Story: Getting a case to court (Yolngu Matha)

You can listen to this story about getting a case to court in Yolngu Matha. Click here for more audio stories like this.


Lawyer (Yolngu Matha)

This audio explains the word lawyer in Yolngu Matha. Click here for more recordings like this.


View graphic resources like posters and photos


What to do when you can not go to court

This poster explains what you can go if you can’t get to court on the right date.

Click here to view What to do when you can not go to court

Glossary: What these words mean


To summon means ‘to call a person to come to a place’. A summons is a law-paper from a court telling a person they must come to court or bring something to court (like documents).

(From the Plain English Legal Dictionary 2015)

duty lawyer

The duty lawyer helps with legal advice and representation when you first go to court for criminal charges. The duty lawyer is at the Darwin Local Court and the Alice Springs Local Court every day. Duty lawyers also go to the Local Court in Katherine and Tennant Creek.

A duty lawyer can also help people in the Family Courts. The duty lawyer can help with negotiations, filling in simple forms, asking for adjournments, legal advice and information.

If you are in Darwin, go to the duty lawyer office at the Family Court on the day you go to court.  If you are outside Darwin, call the duty lawyer on 08 8982 0821 from 8.30 am on the day you are going to court.

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