The criminal trial is that which concerns the behavior which the law or the regulations sanction by penalties. These behaviors are called offenses. A person who commits an offense is called an offender.
” if the criminal trial can have the effect of meeting the expectations of victims, its purpose is to enable the State, through the manifestation of the truth and the pronouncement of a sentence, to ensure retribution for the fault committed by the author of the infringement action and the restoration of social peace ” CE July 19, 2011
The criminal trial takes place according to the rules of criminal procedure, which applies to crimes and that may be directed against people or property.
The criminal case has four phases
– the finding of the offense
the finding of the offense is made by the police or the gendarmerie
– the pursuit
the prosecution is the result of public action , led by the public prosecution, also called the prosecution.
the public prosecutor is informed by the police and the gendarmerie of the violations noted. He also receives complaints from victims.
once informed of the offense, the public prosecutor decides either to dismiss it or to prosecute.
the prosecution may request an investigation (also known as information) which will be entrusted to the investigating judge
– the judgment
the criminal trial will take place according to the rules of jurisdiction, before the correctional court, the police court or the assize court.
the criminal trial is governed by strict organizational rules
- the court is assisted by a clerk
- the case is called by a bailiff
- debates are chaired by the president
- the president questions the defendant who takes the stand, then the victim (s), and finally the witnesses
- the president gives the floor to the parties
- he first gives the floor to the civil party seeking compensation for the damage suffered
- he then gives the floor to the public prosecutor or public prosecutor who is represented by the prosecutor or his deputy
- he finally gives the floor to the accused (or his lawyer). The accused always has the floor last to present his defense
The court may render its judgment on the bench, as soon as the proceedings have ended, possibly after a suspension of the hearing, or put it under advisement. It indicates the date of the hearing during which the judgment will be rendered.
The deliberation is secret.
The award is made publicly. The Court decides first on the guilt, then if it is accepted, on the penalty and damages.
– the execution of the sentence
The execution of the sentence is carried out by the public prosecutor