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What happens after the further investigation?
After conducting interviews with any suspect(s), they may be bailed to return to the police station at a specified date. This allows the investigating officer more time to make further enquiries.
At the end of the investigation there are three main outcomes for the suspect(s). These are called Charging Decisions.
The police will let you know within 5 working days (or within 1 working day if you’ve been the victim of a serious crime) of the suspect being:
1. Charged – the suspect is formally told that they will be sent to court and what law they are alleged to have broken.
2. Cautioned – an official warning given in some circumstances. If the suspect is brought to court within the next three years the court can take this warning in to account when sentencing them.
3. No further action – if there is insufficient evidence to charge or caution a suspect, no further action will be taken by police.
The offender has been charged, now what?
After a police investigation if the offender is charged the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will decide whether to prosecute and take a case to court. If the case goes to court and you have given a statement as a victim or witness you may be required to go to court and give evidence.
If your case goes to court, you will be contacted before the trial by one of our Voice advisors. The advisor will keep you informed about how the case is progressing right up to the point of sentencing. If they later decide to drop or alter your case, you should be told the reasons why within 5 working days.
Will I have to go to court?
If the defendant pleads not guilty and you witnessed the crime, you are likely to be called to give evidence. You can ask for extra help in court to give the best evidence, this is called Special Measures.
Alternatively, find out more about how courts work with our Interactive Courtroom.
What happens next?Next section: Going to court
Last modified 22nd February 2017