at court, they will call your name.
In the courtroom, the judge will ask what you want to do about your legal problem.
If it is a criminal problem, the judge will ask you to plead guilty/not guilty or if you want more time.
The judge will usually ask you to come back again on another day.

If you plead guilty, the judge will usually decide your punishment (sentence) on the same day.

Text based resources about this topic


Going to Court
Booklet explaining what you should do to prepare for court and what will happen at court.
Watch videos about this topic


You understand, don’t you? (Yolngu Matha)
Part two of a video explaining what happens in court and exploring language barriers.


You understand, don’t you? (Pintupi-Luritja) – Court role play
Reversed role play explaining court and exploring language barriers.


What’s the law – the Australian Legal System

A video explain how the legal system works in Australia.


Glossary: What these words mean

A criminal is someone who a court decides has broken a law.
If you are charged with an offence and go to court, the just will ask you whether you agree with the charge(s) or not. the answer you give is called a plea. There are two basic types of plea: guilty and not guilty. If you agree with the charge, and that you broke the law, you plead guilty. If you disagree, you plead not guilty.
In criminal law, sentence means ‘to punish’ or ‘punishment’. The punishment comes from a judge in a court.

This website gives general legal information. It is not legal advice. If you need advice for your problem, please talk to a lawyer.

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This website is a project of the NT Community Legal Education Network.
logo-ppt It has been developed with the generous support of the Law Society Public Purposes Trust.