• Legis Scriptor

Stages of a Criminal Case

Authored By- Sneha Saha


When a person is being charged with some alleged offense it is required to follow some specific rules and methods of criminal procedure to maintain the consistency in the system and to protect the individual's constitutional rights. This paper deals with the criminal case which has various distinct stages.


A crime is an associate in act or omission that is prohibited by law. And the punishment for all the crimes committed is provided by a procedure known as a criminal trial. Criminal prosecution starts in a series of stages, which begins with the FIR and ends at a point during, before, or after trial. Most criminal cases end when a criminal respondent acknowledges a plea bargain offered by the indictment. In a plea bargain, the respondent decides to confess before preliminary to the charged offenses, or lesser accusations in return for a more permissive sentence or the excusal of related charges. The criminal preliminary in India settled the regulatory and judicial system. Criminal law consists of three acts – Code of Criminal Procedure,1973; Indian Penal Code,1860; Indian Evidence Act,1872.

Various Criminal Case Stages

1) First Information Report(FIR): A FIR is filed to police regarding any offense committed. Under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a First Information Report is being filed and this FIR leads to set the case into motion.

2) Investigation: After the FIR is filed, the investigation starts with the investigating officer. They collect the information about the incident, collect evidence, investigate various persons, and take their statements and other necessary condition to complete the investigation. After that, a conclusion is filed to the magistrate as a police report.

3) Bail: When an individual is in police custody, a magistrate or other adjudicator may give bail. In deciding the measure of bail, an appointed authority may consider factors like the seriousness of the supposed offense and the probability that the individual would again visit the court all through the case. An adjudicator may arrange an individual held without bail if the conditions weigh significantly against letting that person out.

4) Charges: Considering the collected evidence and police report if the accused is not release then the court will frame charges on which the person will be trialed. The charges should be framed in writing form.

5) Discharged charges/ Frame: Once the case is brought before the court, the decision can either discharge the defendant underneath Section 227 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 or frame charges against the defendant underneath Section 228 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Before exercising its power, there's a requirement upon the court to contemplate the record of the case and documents submitted thereupon and to listen to the submissions of the defendant and therefore the prosecution thereon behalf.[i]

6) Plea of guilty: The Magistrate after stating the facts of the offense will inquire as to whether he confesses or has any defense to help his case. On the off chance that the charged confesses, the Magistrate records the announcement in the expressions of the blamed beyond what many would consider possible and may convict him on his circumspection. If the accused is not guilty then the case will be posted for trial.

7) Trial stage: Trial for a case commences when any particular case is posted for the examination of witnesses. The trial can be in –

· Session trial

· Warrant trial

· Summons trial

· Summary trial

8) Prosecution evidence: After the charges are confined, and the denounced confesses, at that point, the court requires the prosecution to deliver proof to demonstrate the blame of the blamed. The prosecution is needed to help their proof with explanations from its observers. The magistrate can give the summons to any individual as an observer or requests him to deliver any report.

9) Defense evidence: A chance is given to the accused for a situation where he isn't being cleared to deliver to safeguard his case. The defense can deliver both oral and narrative proof.

10) Statement of accused: The accused is given a chance to be heard and for stating the facts and circumstances of the case. The statements are taking voluntarily and it is not recorded under oath and can be used against him in the trial.

11) Argument: Public Prosecutor and the defense counsel present their contentions. At the point when the charged is sentenced, at that point, the two sides are welcome to give contentions on the punishment which is to be granted. This is generally done when the individual is indicted for an offense whose punishment is life detainment or the death penalty. Anyway, when the sentence is articulated in a summons case, the parties need not contend on the measure of punishment given. The sentence is the sole caution of the judge.[ii]

12) Judgment: An official conclusion of the court with reasons given on the side of the exoneration or conviction of the accused is known as judgment. If the accused is cleared, the prosecution is offered time to advance against the request for the court. At the point when the individual is indicted, at that point, the two sides are welcome to give contentions on the discipline which is to be granted. This is typically done when the individual is indicted for an offense whose discipline is life imprisonment or the death penalty.

13) Appeal: If one thinks a legitimate mistake made one be indicted and condemned unreasonably, then that party can speak to a higher court. In criminal cases, an appeal requests that a higher court take a gander at the record of the trial procedures to decide whether a lawful error happened that may have influenced the result of the trial or the sentence forced by the judge.


When a crime happens or any person is accused of any crime then all these stages are being followed. This procedure involves the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases that vary from jurisdiction-to-jurisdiction and followed throughout the whole proceedings.

[i] [ii] 2020. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 24 September 2020]. References