Criminal Justice System Referral

Introduction to Criminal Justice System Referral

  • The process of Criminal Justice System Referral is integral to Forensic Traffic Collision Investigation.

Involved Parties

  • Several levels of the Criminal Justice System are involved in a referral, including the police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the courts, and possibly a probation service or prison service.

Police Role

  • The police are typically the first to be involved, securing the scene and initiating the investigation of the collision.
  • Following the investigation, the police prepare a report detailing their findings and conclusions.


  • The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) takes over the case once the police have handed over their report.
  • The CPS reviews the evidence provided by the police and decides whether or not to prosecute based on the likelihood of a conviction and whether it is in the public interest.

Court Proceedings

  • If prosecution is determined to be the best course of action, the case moves to the court system, where offences can either be tried in the Magistrates Courts for minor offences, or the Crown Court for more serious offences.


  • Following a successful prosecution, the court makes a sentencing decision.
  • Sentences can range from fines and points on the offender’s driving licence up to imprisonment for the most serious offences like causing death by dangerous driving.

Probation or Prison

  • Serious crimes resulting in prison sentences will involve the prison service. Similarly, those receiving community service will engage with the probation service.

Role of the Forensic Collision Investigator

  • The Forensic Collision Investigator plays a crucial role in providing the evidence to support prosecution, working closely with the police and the CPS.
  • They must be prepared to present and explain their findings in court, highlighting the vital connection between the forensic science of collision investigation and the Criminal Justice System.