When you can be charged in court

You can be charged in court when the prosecution is ready to formally file charges against you. This will be based on investigations by the police or other law enforcement agencies.

The police or enforcement agency may arrest you before, during or after investigations. Unless you are granted bail, you cannot be held for more than 48 hours before you are brought to court.

Checklist before going to court

If you need to attend court for a crime, you may wish to ensure you

Criminal court process step-by-step

First court appearance

Attend Mentions Court

The Mentions Court is the first stage of the criminal court process. You will be formally charged and have to either plead guilty or claim trial. In some cases, the judge may order you to be placed in remand.

After taking the plea

If you plead guilty

Pleading guilty means you admit fully to the offence. The Mentions Court may convict and sentence you on the spot, or transfer your case to a plead guilty (PG) mention.


If you claim trial

If you dispute the charges against you, this means you are claiming trial. Understand the steps in a trial.


Receive your sentence

Find out how the court decides on your punishment (sentence) and what to expect at your sentencing.



Refer to the Guidebook for Accused in Person (PDF, 1.9 MB).

Read more about arrest and investigation in this booklet by the Law Society of Singapore.

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