Criminal prosecution

Criminal prosecution

Storyboard Text

  • Step 1: Investigation
  • Oh my god guys, I found evidence
  • Step 2: Brief assessment/ charges held
  • sure thing
  • I just need to ask you a few questions if that's alright
  • Step 3: starting of charging
  • The investigator, who is often a police officer, takes statements and collects evidence to be used in criminal prosecutions. Statements may be taken from victims of the crime, witnesses, or anyone who knows something about the alleged offence. Once the investigator thinks they have enough evidence to charge someone with a criminal offence, they compile a brief with all the information they have about the crime. This includes witness statements and physical evidence like photographs and recordings. When it is ready, a brief of evidence is referred to the CDPP for assessment.
  • The so-called CDPP will go ahead with a prosecution if we can answer yes to two questions, one, are there reasonable prospects of the accused being found guilty? Is it in the public interest to start a prosecution? The prosecutors assess briefs referred to the CDPP in an appropriate manner with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth. Deciding whether or not to go ahead with a prosecution isthe most important step of the prosecution process.
  • If the CDPP decides to start a prosecution, charges will be laid against the person which ends up believing that they have committed a crime. This person is known as the defendant. The defendant will be notified when charges against them are laid. This can be done in two ways, they may be: sent a summons, or a court attendance notice, to appear in court on a certain date arrested and either granted bail or kept in custody until the prosecution finishes. To know that the charges have been laid the victims can contact the CDPP Witness Assistance Service or the investigator who is dealing with the matter, to find out if charges have been laid. Regardless of the charges, all matters start in the Local Court, which is also known as the Magistrates’ Court. This court deals with matters that are less serious, which are often referred to as summary offences. A summary, or simple, offence is tried by a magistrate alone. Examples of summary offences include less serious cases of fraud and drug offences. More serious criminal matters, also known as indictable offences, are heard in a higher court, such as the Supreme, County or District Court. Indictable offences require a trial by judge and jury. Examples of Commonwealth indictable offences include major drug importation cases, terrorism offences and fraud cases where the sum of money involved is large. The last thing about the charges is a Statement of Facts, this is a summary of the prosecution’s case, outlining what is alleged to have happened when the crime was committed. The facts are prepared by the prosecutor and provided to the defendant’s lawyer.
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