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Charging and bail

There is no standard timescale for charging an offender, but a victim can always expect to be told about the decision to charge or not to charge, and can ask for reasons.

Your entitlements

You are entitled to:

  • be informed if the suspect is to be prosecuted or not, or given an out of court disposal (such as a behaviour contract or community work)
  • ask for a review of the police or Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) decision not to prosecute

Both police and the CPS operate their own victims Right to Review schemes. They are responsible for informing victims about their respective schemes. Find out more about the Victims’ Right to Review Scheme

Your entitlements are explained in detail in the Victims’ Code

Our advice

It is possible you will be told about a charging decision that you don’t agree with.

You can question a decision

Don’t be afraid to ask for the reasons behind a charging decision. You can also challenge a decision it if you still think it is wrong or unfair.

Ask for a ‘Right to Review’

Right to Review schemes are a way to get a decision not to charge reviewed by another official person. Make sure you give reasons so that they can understand your point of view and make their decision.

Guidance on charging and bail

The victim information site explains how to:

  • keep up to date
  • protect your privacy
  • challenge a decision