These information sheets explain what happens when someone is suspected or accused of an offence which is dealt with by means of a hearing before a court. For information on minor offences such as breaches of the Highway Code which are normally punishable by a fixed penalty such as a fine, see information sheet 5. If you are the victim of a crime, you will find full information about your rights here.
Below is a summary of the normal stages in criminal proceedings
You will find details of all these stages in the proceedings and about your rights in the information sheets. This information cannot take the place of consulting a lawyer and is only intended for guidance purposes.
Please note that the European Commission does not play any part in criminal proceedings within Member States and is unable to help you if you wish to make a complaint. These information sheets tell you how you can complain and to whom.
The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.
Member States in charge of the management of national content pages are in the process of updating some of the content on this website in the light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.