The Meaning of Indictment in UK

Updated on Monday 13th April 2020

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The Meaning of Indictment in UK Image
An indictment represents an official document created by the authorities in UK, where there are mentioned the accusations made for an offender. Such document will be presented in the court of law when the hearings in a trial begin. Additional information is also mentioned in an indictment, which refers to the type of charges and particularities. Our criminal defence solicitors in London can explain what an indictment represents and when this document is issued.

What does an indictment comprise?

According to the Indictment Act 1995, an important document like an indictment must specify the offences an individual is accused of, the nature of the charges, and the legislation which refers to such crimes. Besides that, an indictment will contain the particularities of the conduct which will establish the commission of the offence in a clear manner for the prosecutor to charge against the offender accused of crimes. In other words, an indictment is created in two specific parts, the statement of the offence (the type of crimes and the statutory provision) and the particulars of the offence where information about the crime is described. The characteristics of an indictment can be explained in legal terms by our defence solicitors in London.  

Who drafts the indictments?

The Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales is in charge of drafting the indictments and if there are more than just one criminal involved, the prosecutor will establish the order and the accusations in the case. We mention that two crimes can be based on the same facts if they have been recorded in just one incident. In the case of Scotland, all cases are brought in the name of the Lord Advocate and tried on indictment in the High Court of Justiciary. More than that, it is good to note that if in a sheriff court the trials continue using the solemn proceedings, these are tried on indictment and brought in the name of the Lord Advocate, according to the Indictment Law. Our criminal lawyer in London can also offer details about how the Crown Prosecution Services sets out the indictments.

The meaning of serving the indictment 

If there is more than just one offence mentioned in an indictment, there is a possibility to order separate trials, a matter known as serving the indictment. Furthermore, in this case, the burden stands on the offender to demonstrate that special circumstances deserve distinct hearings in the court of law because otherwise, the jury might find it difficult to separate the evidence. Our criminal defence solicitors in London have a wide experience in cases where several accusations are mentioned in the same indictment and can help you obtain separate trials.

Can an indictment be amended?

According to the provisions of the same Indictment Act 1995, if during the hearing or before it, the indictment shows defective, the court of law is entitled to ask for an amendment of the indictment, if there are necessary circumstances in a criminal case.

Persons who want to know more details about indictments are invited to contact our team of defence solicitors in London.