Criminal Procedure

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Criminal Procedure

  • A process the suspect will follow
  • All suspects are arrested and questioned by the police
  • if released without charge, the police may grant bail and summon the suspect to appear at the police station at a later date
  • not charged = released without charge
  • charged = grant/refused bail
  • grant = released back into the community 
  • refused = held on remand until trial.
  • If police gather sufficient evidence so the CPS consider a realistic prospect of conviction and te CPS believe it is in the public interest to prosecute, the suspect is charged. The CPS has to be satisfied with these two things.
  • Police grant/refuse bail.
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Court Hearings

- Summary, Indictable and Triable either way.

The first hearing for all offences are at the Magistrates Court

The court will consider bail and public funding for representation (duty solicitor - paid for by the state)

Next hearing for Summary and Triable either way offences will be in the Mags court, the Mags hear the D's plea

If the plea is guilty, it will be taken straight to sentencing:

Summary -> Mags for sentencing

Either way -> Mags or Crown for sentencing (depending on the seriousness of the offence) 

if the plea is not guilty it will proceed to the next hearing

For Indictable offences the Mags will transfer the case to the Crown court.

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Next Hearing - Triable either way

Next hearing is mode of trial hearing in the Mags. Mags decide whether the case should be tried in Mags court or Crown court. (decision based on seriousness of the offence).

Next hearing is either: 

Trial in Mags court - if found guilty, mags sentence or pass to Crown for sentencing. (D's have right to object to trial by Mags).


Plea and Case Management hearing in the Crown Court. D gives his plea; if not guilty the trial will proceed to Crown Court Trial. If guilty, then proceed to sentencing. (D cannot object to trial by jury.)

If the case goes to Crown Court for trial there will always be a Plea and Case Management hearing.

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Next Hearing - Summary and Indictable


Proceed to Summary Trial in the Mags. If D pleaded guilty/found guilty then proceed to sentencing in the Mags. If he is found not guilty he will be acquitted.


Proceed to Plea and Case Management hearing in the Crown Court. D gives his plea; if guilty then proceed straight to sentencing in Crown. If not guilty then proceed to Crown Court Trial - here the Jury decides guilt and the Judge sentences.

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