What we do

We are responsible for prosecuting people who have been charged under South Australian laws with serious criminal offences, namely, major indictable offences.  We also conduct summary trials in complex or sensitive matters and appeals from the Magistrates Court on indictable offences.

Matters typically referred to the ODPP for prosecution in the Courts include:

  • murder, attempted murder and manslaughter
  • serious drug offences
  • serious sexual offences
  • mental impairment
  • organised crime
  • violent assaults and aggravated robbery
  • large scale and serious fraud offences
  • serious driving offences such as causing death by dangerous driving

The majority of our prosecutions are referred to us by the South Australia police.  In our day to day work, we

  • Give advice to police on whether sufficient evidence exists to lay a charge and what that charge should be.
  • Review cases referred by the police for prosecution to ensure there is sufficient evidence.
  • Determine the charges where a decision is made to prosecute.
  • Determine whether or not to prosecute. Before any case proceeds to a prosecution it must pass two tests.  First, there must be evidence to establish a reasonable prospect of conviction, and secondly, it must be in the public interest to prosecute.
  • Support victims, prosecution witnesses and their immediate family, keeping them informed about the prosecution processes.

 What we don’t do

  • We don’t Investigate crimes

The ODPP is solely a prosecution agency.  Any matter relating to the investigation of crime is largely the role of the South Australian Police (SAPol).  Any person who has information regarding a criminal offence should refer that information to SAPol.

  • We don’t represent victims of crime

We prosecute on behalf of the State. We are sensitive to and respects the needs of victims of crime, but the ODPP is not the victim’s lawyer.

  • We don’t provide legal advice to members of public

The ODPP is not a general public legal advisory service.  Persons seeking legal advice should direct their enquiries to private legal practitioners, the Legal Services Commission (link to www.lsc.sa.gov.au) of South Australia or a South Australian Community Legal Service Centre(link to www.saccls.org.au/).