Criminal procedure refers to the adjudication process of a criminal case. It is the process by which an accused person is arrested and brought through the criminal justice system. The rules of criminal procedure ensure that people who come into contact with the criminal justice system are treated fairly and in accordance with the fundamental principles of justice.
The criminal process typically begins when an individual is arrested and charged with a criminal offence. Accused persons may be released or held for a bail hearing where they may be released by a judge or remanded into custody pending their trial. If released, the individual will be provided a first court date and provided disclosure sometime later.
Set date appearances, crown pre-trials and judicial pre-trials will move the matter along towards either a guilty plea or trial. In some cases, a preliminary inquiry will be scheduled to determine whether the matter can be set down for trial. Pre-trial motions may also be scheduled to deal with issues prior to trial. If the accused is found guilty at trial or pleads guilty, they will be sentenced by the court.