Police Station Reps - Maidstone Police Station
Maidstone Police Station Palace Avenue Maidstone ME15 6NF
Maidstone Police Station
We Cover Maidstone Police Station
Who decides in england if you are charged with a criminal offence? What is the Test?
In England, the decision to charge someone with a criminal offence is typically made by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), not the police. The CPS is the principal public prosecuting agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales.
The CPS uses the Full Code Test, which is outlined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors, to decide whether someone should be charged with a crime. This test has two stages: the Evidential Stage and the Public Interest Stage.
Evidential Stage: There must be enough evidence to provide a "realistic prospect of conviction" against each defendant on each charge. This means that a jury or bench of magistrates, properly directed in accordance with the law, is more likely than not to convict the defendant of the charge alleged. This is a purely objective test and involves no element of discretion.
Public Interest Stage: Even if a case satisfies the evidential stage, prosecutors must decide if a prosecution is needed in the public interest. Most cases will be in the public interest. However, prosecutors must balance factors for and against prosecution carefully and fairly. Some common public interest factors that can affect the decision to prosecute include the seriousness of the offence, the level of culpability of the suspect, the circumstances of and harm caused to the victim, the suspect’s age or maturity (where relevant), the impact on the community, whether prosecution is a proportionate response, and whether sources of information require protecting.
Both stages of the Full Code Test must be met for a prosecution to take place. If the case does not pass the Evidential Stage, it must not proceed, no matter how important or serious it may be. If the case does meet the Evidential Stage, then the Public Interest Stage must be considered.
If your client needs legal representation at a police station in Kent please call us on