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Court costs

In addition to any penalty, court costs and administrative charges are payable, the amount depending on the number of charges:

Prosecution Administration Fee — $100 (for any number of charges) (**this will be $150 from 1 January 2019) [see Criminal Procedure Act 1921 (SA) s 189A].

The Victims of Crime Levy is in addition to any penalty and is levied for every charge under the Victims of Crime Act 2001 (SA) [s 32, see also levy amounts set out in Schedule 1 Victims of Crime (Fund and Levy) Regulations 2018 (SA)]:

Expiated offence $60
Summary offence — Adult Court

— Youth Court

Indictable offence — Adult Court

— Youth Court


Note that for some offences (such as robbery or serious criminal trespass) the levy is twice the amount that would otherwise be payable [see Schedule 1 Victims of Crime (Fund and Levy) Regulations 2018 (SA)].

The court may, at the time of convicting or sentencing a person under the age of 18, exonerate them from liability to pay the levy [Victims of Crime Act 2001 (SA) s 32(3a)]. However, in the case of adult offenders, the court may not reduce the levy or exonerate the defendant from liability to pay it [s 32(7)].

Other costs

A defendant who pleads or is found guilty of an offence may be ordered to pay other costs in some cases. For example a person pleading guilty to a charge of making a false report to the police may be ordered to pay the costs of any investigations carried out in response to the false complaint. Alternatively, if there has been some damage that occurred due to the offence or during the course of an offence, for example a door broken to gain entry into a house, then the cost of repairing this damage may also be awarded. This does not cover all potential costs or claims involved, see Victims of Crime Compensation for more information.

Additional costs after trial

If however, the defendant has been found guilty after trial then additional court fees, prosecution fees plus witness fees may be payable. After a trial in the Magistrates Court, the magistrate usually awards costs against the party who lost the trial, either against a defendant or the police. This does not always happen and is at the discretion of the court. There is a schedule of costs published in the Magistrates Court Rules. Those costs may comprise of the cost of the defendant's lawyer or the police prosecutor and witness fees. If a matter is delayed through the neglect or incompetence of a solicitor, the court can reduce all or part of the solicitor's account, order the solicitor to pay the costs of the prosecution or pay compensation to the court. Similarly a witness who does not attend court can also be ordered to pay compensation for wasted time [see Criminal Procedure Act 1921 (SA) s 189 which gives power to the Court, with some minor exceptions, to award costs as it sees fit].

Prosecutions brought by other bodies (e.g. councils)

In prosecutions brought by other bodies, for example, local councils in parking matters, the defendant, who is found guilty after a trial is usually ordered to pay the cost of the attendance of a prosecution lawyer to conduct the case. Costs are not usually awarded against the losing party in District and Supreme Court trials.

Pre-Committal Process  :  Last Revised: Wed Mar 14th 2018
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.