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Help for the Victims of Crime

Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice took over the running of the court based Witness Service from Victim Support on 1 April 2015.

The Witness Service Improvement Programme (WSIP) has been set up to deliver a modern, consistent and resilient service that meets the needs of every witness in England and Wales.

Further information about Citizens Advice is available on the Citizens Advice Website.

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.

Find out more about the different courts and how they work

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.

Find out more about what happens before the trial

Vulnerable witnesses

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.

Find out more about help for vulnerable witnesses

Giving evidence

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.

Find out more about giving evidence


Magistrates and judges are responsible for deciding what sentence to impose on people found guilty of a crime.

Find out more about sentencing

After the trial

After the trial the Crown Prosecution Service will explain the sentence to you and answer any questions you may have.

Find out more about what happens after the court case