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Criminal Justice System Explained

What does “released on bail” mean?


Where bail is granted to a person involved in a criminal investigation or charge, they are allowed to remain out in the public while they are either awaiting further investigations or court appearance, as opposed to being detained in custody. Bail is a set of...

Stop and search


Police officers have the right to stop and question a person at any time. They can search people or their property depending on the situation. A police officer does not need to be in uniform to stop and search a person, though they would need to show a...

Where will my criminal case be heard?


Every criminal case has its first hearing in the magistrates’ court. This is regardless of whether it is a minor criminal offence such as a traffic offence, to the most serious of crimes including murder. However, at this first hearing, it will be determined whether or...

Can the police stop and search me on the street?


The police have legislative powers to stop, and in some circumstances search, those individuals they suspect of having committed, or that about to commit, a crime. These powers enable police officers to safeguard communities by taking a preventative, as opposed to solely...

Whole Life Orders


What is a Whole Life Order? The Whole Life Order (WLO) is the single most severe punishment in English criminal law. A WLO means that the offender will spend the rest of their life in prison, with no minimum term and no chance of early release. Where a mandatory life...

The recent expansion of Magistrate's sentencing powers


As part of the latest response to clear the immense court backlog, Magistrates in England and Wales are to be given greater sentencing powers. Currently, magistrates may only sentence up to six months imprisonment for a single offence. Under the new plans, this will be raised...

The information on this website is intended as a guide and does not constitute legal advice. Vardags do not accept liability for any errors in the information on this website, nor any losses stemming from reliance upon the statements made herein. All articles and pages aim to reflect the legal position at time they were published, and may have been rendered obsolete by subsequent developments in the law. Should you require specialist advice, tailored to your situation, please see how Vardags can help you.

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