By Gloria James-Civetta

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Areas of Representation

Stages of Criminal Process in Singapore

2 min read

1. Reporting of crime

2. Police Investigation (may be proactive or reactive policing)




3. Your Arrest

4. Prosecutorial deliberation and Pre-Trial Decision Making

a) Decision on whether you may be released on bail
b) If you are not granted bail, the prosecutor’s choice of offence (severity/ type) to charge you based on (at the prosecutor’s discretion)

i. This directly impacts punishment since some offences carry mandatory punishments

c) Opportunity for Negotiations

i. You may plead guilty to lesser charge resulting in some charges dropped
ii. This increases efficiency and is thus a consensual case disposal encouraged by Singapore courts

d) Opportunity for Compounding of offences

i. Only an option when the offence that you have committed is a minor offence where no public interest has been affected.
ii. The public policy rationale behind this is that although your behaviour is one recognised as harmful necessitating state interval, where parties can compound in agreement, this would save state resources (e.g. trial, etc.)
iii. Compounding will succeed only if parties involved can reach an agreement and there is consent from the judicial officer
iv. A situation where an attempt to compound has failed is evidenced in Ho Yean Theng Jill v PP where the court rejected a proposed composition for maid abuse and upheld 4 months imprisonment for the employer.

5. Trial

a) No jury system in Singapore
b) Judge as trier of fact and law

6. Conviction and sentencing

7. Appeal

a) Both prosecution and your defence counsel may choose to appeal against judge’s decision
b) Usually on points of law only (seldom variation on facts)

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