In France, the investigating judge is a magistrate in charge of conduct of judicial investigations, to charge and discharge. Its mission is to carry out all the acts required for the manifestation of the truth, which will then lead to a judgment. An investigating judge decides not to make an inquiry. It is seized by the public prosecutor or by a victim who is constituted as a civil party. Several steps occur until the end of the investigation.
The indictment instituted. When the public prosecutor opens a judicial inquiry as a result of the custody of an individual and the presence of indicia of serious and consistent evidence, he seizes an investigative judge. Has of teaching about the facts relating to the investigation. At the end of his police custody, the suspect is presented to the court. The public Prosecutor shall then read the file and wrote his indictment of introductory. This part of the procedure allows you to seize the investigating judge. It is on this document that it indicates the acts for which the person held in custody can be prosecuted.
The examination of first appearance. The individual then arrives in front of the investigative Judge in the presence of a lawyer. His interrogation is being filmed if this is a criminal matter. Three choices are offered to the person who appears : to keep silence, make a spontaneous statement or answer questions from the judge. At the end of this interview first appearance, the judge then takes the decision to put the suspect under investigation or put under status of witness assisted. If it is placed under judicial control, he is free from court with, however, one or more obligations to meet throughout the duration of the instruction. If he is indicted, the individual may be presented before the judge of freedom and detention, which decides whether or not his detention after hearing the requests of the prosecutor.
The statement. Then comes the time of the statement. During 12 to 18 months, depending on the nature of the case, the judge of instruction multiplies the initiatives in order to make burst the truth.
The investigating judge may order expert evaluations, letters rogatory, international or national, and to issue arrest warrants in the european or international. The lawyer of the accused may also request that actions be undertaken.
The closing order. When the judge considers that the statement is complete, it shall inform the different parts of the folder. The prosecutor of the Republic makes its final brief in which it gives its opinion on the future direction of the folder. It may require a non-place, a reference before the correctional court or the juvenile court, or an order of indictment before the assize court. But the last word belongs to the judge of instruction in its closing order. The accused as civil party may appeal against this order which is then reviewed by the examining chamber of the court of appeal. Once this order definitely made, there still need to wait for a period of audiencement prior to the trial.