After one gets arrested by a police officer, he/she will be taken into custody for questioning. When the police officer deems that there is a necessity to detain him/her, it has to take the proceedings to send the suspect to a public prosecutor with the documents and evidence within 48 hours after his/her arrest.
Thus, in cases where the police officer does not deem that there is no necessity to detain the suspect, he/she will be released.
On the other hand, once referred to a public prosecutor, if the public prosecutor requests for a prolonged physical restraint and a judge permits it, there is a possibility that the suspect cannot leave the detention facility for additional 10 days (max 20 days).
That is say, the custody from arrest is up to 72 hours.
Understandably, if during this period the suspect is cleared of suspicion or it is decided that there is no need to take him/her into custody, the suspect will be released. This is called ‘release’.
More, from the arrest stage to the detention stage, the suspect cannot appoint a court-appointed defense counsel (a lawyer appointed by the state), and is rarely permitted to have an interview with his/her family.
However, if the suspect may appoint a privately-appointed defense counsel immediately after his/her arrest, he/she will be able to receive the following fulfilling defense activities:
- After questioning necessary matters, provide advice about the right to remain silence and how to respond to questioning;
- Provide advice about how to make a written statement at an interview with the defense counsel, if there is still time before the written statement is made; and,
- Work on a public prosecutor not to request for detention, if there is still time before requesting for detention.
Once the request for detention is made, a judge questions to the suspect and decides whether the suspect should be in detention after listening to his/her excuses. When the judge decides that there is a necessity to detain the suspect, in principle he/she will be detained for 10 days after the day when the request for detention was made (if extended, maximum 20 days). On the other hand, the suspect will be released if the judge decides that there is no necessity to extend the detention.
AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm will provide with the following defense activities:
- Where the request for detention was made, request to the judge not to detain him/her;
- Where the judge permitted the detention, file a complaint with the judge over the decision (filing of a quasi-appeal);
- Other legal supports to end the detention (filing of a request to revoke detention, petition for a stay of execution etc.).
A public prosecutor determines whether it will prosecute the case which was sent to the public prosecutor’s office by the police.
There are two types of prosecution: “formal prosecution” and “summary indictment”.
At a formal trial, after prosecuted, a public trial will be formally held. However, it takes more or less 2 months before the first trial starts after prosecution. Although the accused is detained at the detention facility, it is not impossible for the accused to go back to a normal society temporarily utilizing the bail system after prosecution.
On the one hand, in case of summary indictment, a public trial is not held, and the accused will be released from criminal proceedings by paying a fine. (Note, even in this case the accused will have a previous conviction (「前科」zenka)).
At the trial, the accused is convicted or acquitted.
In a case of conviction, the judge determines whether it will suspend a prison term or not.
There is no difference between a prison sentence and a suspended sentence in terms of conviction.
However, in a case of a prison sentence, the accused will be detained in a prison immediately after a judgement is pronounced, while implementation of sentence will be suspended for a certain period in a case of a suspended sentence. Even in a case of a prison sentence, the accused will not have to get into prison immediately.
[Merits of a suspension of execution of the sentence]
- Be able to avoid from getting into prison;
- As a result, can return to his/her normal life and work or school.
→If the accused gets through the period of a suspension of execution of the sentence, the pronouncement of the sentence will lose its effect.
AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm provides with the following defense activities:
- Work on a public prosecutor in order to dismiss a case;
- Request for release on bail;
- Collect evidence in favor of the accused;
- Do defense activities at a trial in order to get acquittal; and,
- Do defense activities at a trial for a suspension of execution of the sentence / reduction of sentence.
AICHI Criminal Cases Law Firm provides with “free consultation” personally given by our rich experienced criminal lawyers. In cases where the suspect got arrested, our law firm provides with “the first interview service” that our lawyers visit to interview with the suspect at the earliest on that very day.