Support for People going to Court

If someone has been arrested they may be released on police bail or they may have been charged with an offence and have to appear at a court.

How do you know if you’ve been charged? You will have been given a document giving a date to appear at court, the details of the court and details of which offence you’ve been charged with.

If you are released on police bail you may either be charged at a later date, or be told there is no further action (NFA) to be taken against you, which is the end of the matter.

If you have been charged with an offence this means that you are to go on trial for the offence – but it still may not come to this….

It is invaluable to have support during the whole court process, this brief guide will explain what happens when one goes to court to enable you to support any one you know who has been charged, and also to understand the process if you yourself have been charged. If you would like a much more detailed description you could read ‘How to Defend Yourself in Court’

The Activist Court Aid Brigade (ACAB) have volunteers who support people who are going to court. If you or a friend have been called to court after attending an action, please send an email to ACAB who will offer you support. Find out more about court monitoring.

  1. What to do if you have been charged
  2. Going to court as a supporter
  3. What to do in court
  4. A word about courts and judges
  5. The court process
  6. Representation in court
  7. Dropped charges and other endings
  8. Becoming a court monitor

Key Messages

  • No Comment
  • You do not need to answer police questions, so don’t.

  • No Personal Details
  • You don't have to give details under ANY stop and search power.

  • No Duty Solicitor
  • Use a recommended solicitor with protest experience.

  • No Caution
  • They admit guilt for an alleged offence that might never get to court.

  • What Power?
  • Ask "What power?" to challenge a police officer to act lawfully.