What happens after the trial?

When you have given evidence in a trial, you may be interested in finding out what happens. You may already know if you think the defendant should be found guilty or not guilty - but that may not always be what the court decides.

How to find out what happened in the trial

If a Witness Care Officer asks you to attend court then they will also inform you of the result of that court hearing. The Witness Care Officer will make every effort to inform you of the result as quickly as possible, however, please be aware that this may not always be on the same day.

Anyone giving evidence at court remains a witness for 12 months from the day of giving evidence. This means that if you receive any form of witness intimidation within that 12 month period you must report it so that it can be dealt with appropriately. 

Will you be asked to be a witness again after the trial?

You should not usually have to give evidence twice about the same crime or incident, but it might be necessary in the following circumstances:

  • If a magistrates’ court finds a defendant guilty and his or her lawyers appeal against the conviction, you may be asked to give your evidence again. This appeal will be in front of a judge in the Crown Court, but with two magistrates instead of a jury.
  • If a defendant has been convicted by a jury in the Crown Court, the defendent has a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal. It is unusual, however, for the Court of Appeal to want to hear witness evidence again.
  • If the jury in a Crown Court case cannot agree on their verdict, a retrial may take place and you might be asked to give your evidence again before a different jury. This does not happen very often.

A retrial might also be needed if there is a problem with the trial and the judge or magistrate has to stop the case. You will be told why this has happened, when the retrial will be, and whether you should be there.