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
- Understand the criminal justice system.
- Understand the roles of the people you may meet in court.
- Consider whether to get a lawyer or represent yourself.
Criminal court process step-by-step
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.
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.