Verified 01 January 2023 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice
Criminal courts try natural persons or legal persons suspected of committing a infringement (contravention, offense or crime). Depending on the seriousness of the offense, the court or tribunal will not be the same. Prison sentences or fines may be imposed.
The police court
The police court judge the contraventions committed by adults (for example, for speeding).Voir la page "The police court" sur le site www.justice.gouv.frMinistry of Justice
The correctional court
The correctional court judge the offenses committed by adults who are liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years and other penalties (fines, additional penalties, community service). For example, for serious violence.Voir la page "The correctional court" sur le site www.justice.gouv.frMinistry of Justice
The Cour d'Assises
The Court of Assize and the Criminal Court judge the infringements the most serious, at first instance and on appeal.
The court of assize is competent to try persons accused of crimes punished over 20 years of confinement.
The criminal court is competent to judge the adults accused of crimes punishable by 15 to 20 years of confinement (rape, murder,...).
Before the Assize Court, a jury of citizens drawn by lot participates in the sentencing decision alongside the professional judges.
Before the criminal court, the case is tried by 5 professional judges (1 president and 4 assessors).Voir la page "The Cour d'Assises" sur le site www.justice.gouv.frMinistry of Justice
Juvenile Courts before 30 September 2021: Criminal Chain Plan
A minor cannot be tried by an ordinary court. He must be tried before specialized courts such as the children's court or the juvenile court.Voir la page "Juvenile Courts before 30 September 2021: Criminal Chain Plan" sur le site www.justice.gouv.fr [application/pdf - 17.7 KB]Ministry of Justice
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