Drafting an information
Drafting an information

The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Drafting an information
  • Legal requirements of an information
  • Avoiding duplicity
  • When is an information laid?
  • Amending an information
  • Defective informations

Legal requirements of an information

There are a number of ways of commencing criminal proceedings in England and Wales:

  1. charge at the police station following arrest with a requirement to attend the magistrates’ court

  2. written charge together with a requisition requiring the defendant to attend court on a specified date and time (available to only certain public prosecutors, see: Prosecutors authorised under s 29 Criminal Justice Act 2003 to commence criminal proceedings by way of written charge and requisition or written charge and single justice notice—checklist)

  3. written charge together with a single justice procedure notice requiring the defendant to indicate a plea and if guilty, consent to the disposal of the case by use of the single justice procedure on the papers (see Practice Note: Single justice procedure)

  4. making an application for the issue of a summons (often termed ‘laying an information’) in the magistrates' court and obtain a summons issued by the court requiring the defendant to attend court on a specified date and time (see Practice Note: Commencing criminal proceedings—applying for the issue of a summons)

This Practice Note highlights the issues which need to be considered and addressed when commencing proceedings by way of applying to the magistrates’ court for the issue of a summons (or laying an information) and should be read in conjunction with Practice