Will it go to court?

Will it go to court?

The police will send all of the information they have collected to the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland (PPS).

The PPS look at the information and decide whether the case should go to court.

Will it go to court?

They will bring the case to court if:

There is enough evidence (it is reasonable that the person might be found guilty)

It is in the public interest (it will help protect everyone in the community)

If the PPS think there is enough evidence and it will help protect people in the community, the suspect will be charged with a crime.

People who have committed a crime are sometimes called a defendant. This is usually when they are taken to court.

Depending on the crime the PPS will decide between 3 options

Depending on the crime the PPS will decide between 3 options

Will it go to court?

Informed warning

a warning recorded on the person’s criminal record for 12 months

Caution

a caution recorded on the person’s criminal record for 6 years

Prosecution

The case will go to court

What if my case doesn't go to court?

If the PPS do not take your case to court it does not mean that the crime did not happen. There just may not be enough evidence to prove that the law has been broken.

If your case doesn’t go to court, you may feel angry or upset. This is normal. The PPS will explain to you why your case is not going to court. You can contact them if you would like more information.

You can also get in touch with the organisations listed at the back of this booklet. They will be able to offer you support and talk about how you are feeling.

Will it go to court?

If you would like any more information, please get in touch with the officer in charge of your case or the Public Prosecution Service. There are also other organisations that are there to help you. You can contact them whether or not you decide to report a crime to the police. They can give you free, confidential support.

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