• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Law
  • Word count: 3361

The criminal process

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The criminal process is often a very complex one. There are many decisions, which need to be made, and these can have a big effect on the resulting trial. The most important ones tend to take place after the suspect has been charged but before the accused gets to trial. These include the decision to prosecute, granting of bail, plea-bargaining and the court in which the case will be tried. These decisions are as important (if not more important) than the resulting trial. The decision whether to prosecute is usually the first step taken once the suspect has been charged. The decision to prosecute is vital to the pre-trial decision procedure as it establishes whether the prosecution believe there is a realistic possibility of conviction by 'sifting out' cases, which they do not think, would be worth prosecuting. Prosecution is defined as: 'The pursuit of legal proceedings, particularly criminal proceedings.'1 Prosecution takes various forms; in criminal cases it is usually in the name of the crown e.g. R v an individual. Summary offences are in the name of an individual, usually a police officer, although a private individual may bring a prosecution e.g. for assault. Until relatively recently the police took the decision to prosecute an offender. However, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 removed this power from the police and recommended that an independent prosecution body should be set up which would make the decision as to whether to prosecute. It was thought that an independent prosecuting body would be more specialized to deal with prosecuting offenders. Although in some cases the Inland Revenue/Customs and Excise still make the decision whether to prosecute and not the CPS. The proposal was adopted and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was set up under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985. The CPS came into operation in 1986. The CPS prosecutes 95% of Crown Court and 25% of magistrates' courts cases. ...read more.

Middle

37 (1) (b) of the Criminal Justice Act 1948) and people convicted or sentenced by the magistrates' court and seeking an order to quash that decision (s.37 (1) d of the 1948 Act). As mentioned, being granted bail is not a certainty and the accused, depending on the circumstance, may not be granted bail. However, in all cases where bail is refused the reasons should be given. The decision to grant bail is usually reviewed every eight days. An application against the refusal of bail should be made within 28 days. If you are unsatisfied with the way you have been treated you can appeal to the High Court (as discussed above). Bail is an important part of the pre-trial criminal procedure for a number of reasons. For instance, being released on bail allows you to further prepare your case and ensure that you get all the (extra) legal help you need. In addition, the granting of bail has an even greater significance with the passing of the HRA 1998, especially Article 5, which relates to the right to liberty and security. In accordance with this, unless there are any circumstances, which prevent bail being granted, bail should be granted regardless of whether an application has been made. The 'presumption of innocence' (innocent until proven guilty) as defined by the HRA also needs to be taken into account when considering whether to grant bail. On the other hand, being released on bail has its disadvantages. For instance the defendant may be subjected to (verbal) abuse from people who think the defendant is guilty of the offence (even without trial) and should not have been released - this can have an adverse affect on the defendants' reputation. Finally as regards bail, the Criminal Justice Act 2003 will have an impact on the granting of bail however the changes proposed will be implemented gradually between now and 2006. ...read more.

Conclusion

51,000 11,000 266,000 19,000 The statistics below also show the outcome of 'triable either way' cases which are committed to the Crown Court for trial, for the year 1999: Defendants in 'either-way' cases committed to Crown Court for trial Case terminated in advance of trial Not convicted (inc jury acquittals and judge ordered/ directed acquittals) Convicted 58,0009 2,000 13,000 43,000 There are important advantages to the cases being tried in magistrates' court. Your case will be heard sooner. Procedures are simpler and less costly than a Crown Court trial. Similarly, the Crown Court has its advantages. There is a higher acquittal rate. Furthermore, a trial by jury could be seen as a direct link between the ordinary citizen and the administration o justice. On the other hand, if you are found guilty by a Crown Court then the sentence imposed is likely to be far harsher than a magistrates' court. A big disadvantage of the magistrates' court though is that the magistrate has no formal legal training and so may not understand the law. Recently passed legislation such as The Courts Act 2003 will also have a big impact on offences triable either way as it sets out guidelines as to how to determine which cases should be sent to the Crown Court. So, in conclusion, these are only some of the main decisions, which are made pre-trial. This would tend to support the statement and show that the criminal justice system is not dominated by the trial. However, the pre-trial decisions discussed here should not be viewed in isolation from each other or the resulting trial. It is a combination of all the factors leading up to the trial and the trial itself which make the criminal justice process what it is and help to ensure that 'justice is not only done but is seen to be done'. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 was also passed and this will have a big impact on all aspects of the Criminal Justice System, including bail. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Law essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Law - Resulting trusts

    4 star(s)

    the subject, Lord Brown -Wilkinson who in the Westdutche case said that the presumption of a resulting trust 'is rebutted by evidence of any intention inconsistent with such a trust', agreed with the work of William Swadling who commented: 'My argument has been that the presumed intention resulting trust which

  2. Marked by a teacher

    In order to decide whether or not trial by jury should or should not ...

    4 star(s)

    It has been argued that the additional delay at the Crown Court represents an attraction for some defendants anxious, for example, to enhance mitigating factors (such as stable personal relationships or employment record) or to maximize time spent remanded in custody to offset a prospective custodial sentence.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Police powers

    4 star(s)

    If this is not complied with then it looks at first instance as if the arrest is not lawful. * S.28(3) the arrested person must be told the grounds for arrest as soon as possible. S.28(5) gives exceptions to this rule.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The Police and Criminal Evidence Acts 1984-provides an effective balance between the powers of ...

    3 star(s)

    Subsequently PACE was formed, it replaced the confusing mixture of common law, legalisation and local by-laws on pre-trial procedure. The reason PACE was brought into being was because police used excessive methods when arresting and detaining suspects. The police at the time would have viewed it as reducing their ability to investigate crime.

  1. Outline the main provisions for he Bail Act 1976 (as amended).

    of his obligations under previous grants of bail in criminal proceedings * The strength of the evidence against him. If a defendant is charged with an offence which is not punishable by imprisonment, bail can only be refused if the defendant has previously failed to surrender to bail and there

  2. Criminal Law (Offences against the person) - revision notes

    further direction to the jury would be needed as intention would be clear. * R v Scally (1995) Arsonist killed child in building. Convicted of murder Appealed - COA - Scally was an exceptional case and N direction should be used. Judge gave direction but said "virtual certainty" (Hyam direction)

  1. What is an indictable offence and how is it brought to trial?

    > If the defendant refuses to plead at all, a special trial is held at which a jury decides whether he is unwilling to do so (in which case a plea of not guilty is entered on his behalf and the trial goes ahead)

  2. Pre Trial Procedure in Criminal Cases

    * Requesting pre sentence or medical reports if appropriate. * Deciding if remanded on bail or not. o Clerk has limited powers here. Cannot change conditions if bail been previously granted. * The use of EAH was suggested by Narey report. "reducing delay in criminal justice system" wait shortened from 85 days to 30 from charged to completion in magistrates.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work