The legal rights of a person involved in a crime

By Jamie Hill - 9 November 2018

CrimeOpinion and Features

There are two types of situations connected to a crime: the one where an individual is a witness of a crime and the second one when a person committed a crime. The consequences are definitely clear for each case and persons involved have different rights. In any case, the help of a defence solicitor is mandatory and more than that, the person involved in a crime will know what to expect at the court of law.

What happens if I am a witness in a crime?

Reporting a crime is often hard to do given the situation of an individual who witnessed, for example, a burglary, a robbery, a fraud or a domestic violence. No matter the gravity of the offence, according to the laws in UK, a person must report the crime to the police. The authorities will offer a written confirmation showing that you reported the offence and a crime reference number as soon as you made the statement as a witness in a crime. Moreover, the police officer in charge of your case will have to maintain the contact with you and inform about the investigation course.

Individuals involved in a crime can also make a personal victim statement and declare the ways in which the crime affected them. It is good to know that there are many victim support organizations that can offer the needed help in such cases.

Having privacy as a witness or a victim

Among the legal rights of a person involved in a crime, complete privacy is extremely important. It is up to you if you would like to offer details about yourself if the case goes to the media. The police often collaborate with the press if they consider it will support the investigation of a crime. As for the victims of sexual crimes or related offences, it is good to know that complete privacy is given, meaning that no info about yourself or photo will be provided to the public.

Persons accused of crimes and their rights

The cases where individuals are accused of crimes are different than the ones where victims are involved. This means that you can be kept into police custody if charged with a serious crime. As for the rights at the police station, an individual will have to contact a criminal defence solicitor before being questioned by the authorities. We remind that this is an important right of each individual accused of crimes and being supported from a legal point of view is definitely mandatory. Being released on bail or receiving a warning, a penalty notice or a caution might be the cases of individuals accused of crimes.

Having enough evidence in a case will determine the Crown Prosecution Service in UK to send the case in the court of law for further proceedings.

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