A document formally setting out the charges against the defendant.

Criminal Courts Blockbusters Quiz

When a person is charged to appear in the Crown Court an Indictment will be drawn up. The defendant may be charged with a specific crime but the indictment will show any offence that has been revealed by the witness statements.


Each charge is known as a 'count'. An indictment must be signed by the proper officer of the Crown Court. The indictment may be for several counts and may be a complicated formal document. It should never include more counts than necessary in order to encourage the defendant to plead guilty to some of the offences. Nor should it include a more serious count in order to encourage the defendant to plead guilty to a less serious count.


It will include the name of the Crown Court and the name of the defendant and a statement of the offence and particulars of the offence. There are strict procedural requirements covering how the indictment should be set out and time limits for service of the indictment. Failure to observe these procedures can result in the failure of the trial.

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