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Part of: Checklists to help navigate after assault

Decision to Prosecute Checklist

This checklist will help you through deciding to prosecute.

  • The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) assign a specialist lawyer to review your case alongside a second lawyer.

  • They review all the evidence gathered to determine whether or not to prosecute the case using two questions: Is there enough evidence to prosecute and is it within the public's interest to prosecute?

  • A prosecuter asks to meet with you before making any final decisions (this only happens in rare cases and only if they feel it is necessary).

  • The CPS write to you to provide information on any decision to charge, drop or alter charges. You are also given the opportunity to access a face-to-face meeting with the Prosecutor to personally hear the reasons for the final decision.

  • Your abuser(s) is charged and the case proceeds to trial. Your abuser(s) will now be referred to officially as a defendant rather than a suspect. CPS informs you of the length of the trial, proposed start date and any anonymity arrangements that need to be made.

  • If your abuser(s) is not charged and the case is dropped, you are informed of your rights to appeal this decision.

  • If your abuser(s) is cautioned rather than prosecuted (usually reserved for minor cases), you are provided an explanation for the decision and informed of your rights to appeal this decision.

  • You challenge the decision made by the CPS by requesting a review under the Victim's Right to Review (VRR) scheme.

  • You request the Victim's Right to Review (VRR)'s decision to be independently reviewed as you are unhappy with the response you received. Submit your request ideally within five working days from the date you were informed of it or up to three months.

  • The CPS should complete the review and provide you with an outcome within thirty working days (six weeks).

  • If you have the means available, you choose to take up a private prosecution after a criminal prosecution was dropped or unsuccessful.