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The prosecutor will advise the police officer of the further material required.This advice will also bring an early conclusion to those cases that cannot be strengthened by further evidence.This built on the benefits of streamlined processes to deliver more responsive and proportionate charging services.
All of the following conditions must be met: There must be reasonable grounds to believe that further investigation will provide additional identifiable (not merely speculative) evidence within a reasonable period of time.
The evidence as a whole should then be capable of meeting the Full Code Test, ie, provide a realistic prospect of conviction.
The prosecution process generally begins from the point when a crime is reported to the police.
Evidence is then gathered to establish what actually happened and who was involved, and statements are taken from witnesses to support the evidence.
Where there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, careful consideration should be given to the public interest test and the legal guidance on youth offenders.
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Prosecutors should consult The Director’s Guidance on Charging and relevant Ministry of Justice Codes of Practice to assess offence seriousness, and Youth Justice Board (2013) Youth Out-of-Court Disposals, Guide for Police and Youth Offending Services to determine whether the public interest is satisfied by diversion.They should regularly assess the evidence gathered to ensure the charge is still appropriate and that continued objection to bail is justified.The Full Code Test must be applied as soon as reasonably practicable and, in any event, before any custody time limits expire.The charging decision should be recorded on the MG3/3A forms.The Threshold Test is not a shortcut to obtaining a charging decision to place offenders before a court quickly.This is a two-stage test which must be applied each time a charging decision is made, whether it is made by the police or the – the evidential stage and the public interest stage.The evidential stage must be met before the public interest stage can be considered.They must balance factors for and against prosecution carefully and fairly, decide how important each factor is in the circumstances of the case and make an overall assessment.Each case is unique and must be considered on its own facts and merits.If the evidential test is not met, the charge cannot proceed, no matter how serious or sensitive it may be.In cases which pass the evidential stage, the decision maker must go on to consider the public interest stage.