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The Criminal Justice System

What you need to know, in brief.

  • Details of your criminal record will either be recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC) or the Police National Database (PND). You can apply for a copy of your police record by applying to ACRO for a Subject Access Request (SAR).
  • If you have been arrested and are going to be interviewed by the police under caution, you are entitled to free legal advice and representation. If you case goes to court, you may qualify for legal aid representation.
  • The Crown Court keeps records of court proceedings for 5 years. If you think you may need an official record of what happened in court, it’s worth applying for a copy of the court transcript before they are destroyed.
  • If you receive a prison sentence of more than 12 months but less than 4 years, you will be automatically released half way through your sentence. You will serve the remainder on licence, in the community, supervised by a probation officer.

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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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We provide support and advice for people in England and Wales who need guidance with either their own, or someone else’s, criminal record.

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