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Hagrid was accused twice of having one of his creatures (Aragog specifically) attack students at Hogwarts.

The first was during his time as student when Moaning Myrtle was killed. Hagrid ended up being the patsy and was expelled.

The second was during Harry's time as a student and after a few students had been petrified, the Ministry showed up to haul him off to Azkaban.

While the Ministry seems all over the place in law enforcement and the rights of the accused... in either of these two incidents was Hagrid put on any semblance of a trial?

  • I want to say it's likely he was, but there isn't much to say one way or the other, and it's always hard to say exactly where the idiots in charge are at any given point in the past. – Radhil Jul 3 '17 at 14:35
  • Follow the spiders to find out whether Hagrid was put on a trial for keeping an acromantula. Don't worry, you're perfectly safe. Aragog and family are cuties. I am sure Hagrid recommends it as a family trip, enjoyable for all ages. – user68762 Aug 21 '17 at 12:17
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+100

The first time, it seems Hagrid was simply expelled, not charged with anything.

It seems like Hagrid was only expelled from Hogwarts for his suspected involvement in the attacks, not charged with anything by the Ministry of Magic.

“Hagrid wasn’t a fully qualified wizard; he had been expelled from Hogwarts in his third year, for a crime he had not committed. It had been Harry, Ron and Hermione who had cleared Hagrid’s name last year.”
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 5 (The Dementor)

Tom Riddle (while he's bragging about how he got away with opening the Chamber of Secrets) says "you can imagine how it looked to old Dippet", the Headmaster at the time. Neither Tom, Hagrid, nor anyone else mentioned any Ministry officials getting involved in the situation.

“It was my word against Hagrid’s, Harry. Well, you can imagine how it looked to old Armando Dippet. On the one hand, Tom Riddle, poor but brilliant, parentless but so brave, school Prefect, model student; on the other hand, big, blundering Hagrid, in trouble every other week, trying to raise werewolf cubs under his bed, sneaking off to the Forbidden Forest to wrestle trolls.”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin)

Even Rita Skeeter, who wanted to write as inflammatory a story as possible, doesn't mention Hagrid being charged with anything - which would certainly add to the scandalous nature.

“Rubeus Hagrid, who admits to being expelled from Hogwarts in his third year, has enjoyed the position of gamekeeper at the school ever since, a job secured for him by Dumbledore.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 24 (Rita Skeeter's Scoop)

Hagrid did have his wand snapped and was banned from doing magic, but nowhere is it said that it had been a Ministry decision. It seems like his wand being snapped and him being banned were both related to him being expelled, and was likely a decision by the school, not the Ministry.

“Oh, well – I was at Hogwarts meself but I – er – got expelled, ter tell yeh the truth. In me third year. They snapped me wand in half an’ everything. But Dumbledore let me stay on as gamekeeper. Great man, Dumbledore.”
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 4 (The Keeper of the Keys)

Ollivander, as well, seems to associate his getting his wand snapped with his expulsion from Hogwarts.

“Good wand, that one. But I suppose they snapped it in half when you got expelled?’ said Mr Ollivander, suddenly stern.”
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)

Further supporting this is that Dumbledore tells the Ministry at Harry’s trial for casting the Patronus Charm at Little Whinging that the Ministry isn’t responsible for “misdemeanors at school” and doesn’t have the power to expel students.

“The Ministry does not have the power to expel Hogwarts students, Cornelius, as I reminded you on the night of the second of August,’ said Dumbledore. ‘Nor does it have the right to confiscate wands until charges have been successfully proven; again, as I reminded you on the night of the second of August. In your admirable haste to ensure that the law is upheld, you appear, inadvertently I am sure, to have overlooked a few laws yourself.”
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 8 (The Hearing)

The decision to expel Hagrid would have therefore been with Hogwarts, not the Ministry.

The second time, he was taken straight to Azkaban - any trial would've been after.

The second time the Chamber of Secrets is opened, Hagrid is taken straight to Azkaban, without a trial before being taken there.

“I’m under a lot of pressure. Got to be seen to be doing something. If it turns out it wasn’t Hagrid, he’ll be back and no more said. But I’ve got to take him. Got to. Wouldn’t be doing my duty –’

‘Take me?’ said Hagrid, who was trembling. ‘Take me where?’

‘For a short stretch only,’ said Fudge, not meeting Hagrid’s eyes. ‘Not a punishment, Hagrid, more a precaution. If someone else is caught, you’ll be let out with a full apology …’

‘Not Azkaban?’ croaked Hagrid.”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 14 (Cornelius Fudge)

He's told that he'll be let out "if someone else is caught", which could mean he'd have a trial, but could also mean that there was no trial planned for him, and he'd only be released if someone else was caught whether or not he could be proven innocent.

Then, when the basilisk was killed, Dumbledore wrote a letter to get Hagrid back, and Hagrid was returned to Hogwarts by three o'clock that same morning.

“What you need, Harry, is some food and sleep. I suggest you go down to the feast, while I write to Azkaban – we need our gamekeeper back.”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18 (Dobby's Reward)

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    Awesome finds! I completely agree, if anyone would have mentioned Ministry involvement it would have been Skeeter! – Attack Helicopter Oct 21 '17 at 1:24
  • @Skooba Thanks a lot! :D – Bellatrix Oct 21 '17 at 2:54
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    @Pryftan I don’t think there was a trial either, and certainly not a fair one. It’s pretty clear Fudge wanted to imprison Hagrid so he looks like he’s taking action, not because he truly suspected Hagrid. The Ministry wasn’t treating Hagrid fairly at all then. – Bellatrix Aug 2 '18 at 23:11
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    @Miss Bella Yes - just like Scrimgeour did after your dear Master and Dark Lord rose again... Arrest Stan Shunpike to make it (see: I missed the 'make it' because I too am perfect!) look like they're taking action - and all he did was brag about supposedly having knowledge to impress - were they Veela? - which foolish (and not in the least bit attractive, for that matter!) or not is hardly a crime even if there maybe should be an investigation. – Pryftan Aug 3 '18 at 0:10
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    @Pryftan Yes, it seemed exactly like that! Scrimgeour didn’t have any actual evidence that Stan Shunpike committed a crime (and thanks!). You’re right, Stan Shunpike was bragging to Veela during the Quidditch World Cup, he told them he was going to be the next Minister of Magic. Later he later bragged in a pub about knowing the Death Eaters’ plans, that’s when they’d arrested him. It would probably merit further investigation, though not immediate imprisonment. As you say, it certainly was foolish of him, and he really should keep his mouth shut and not spout supposedly ‘impressive’ lies. – Bellatrix Aug 3 '18 at 0:57
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Case 1 - No, at least there is no canon evidence

As Hagrid was underage, he was dealt with by the school administration, i.e. expelled. He did not deny having a giant spider in his possession, but clearly did not realize that it could be dangerous, thus could not be proven malicious, so the whole thing looked a 'tragic accident' that does not require a court verdict.

Case 2 - No, definitely no

There is no mention of any trial at all (in Chamber Of Secrets), only of the fact that Hagrid was arrested and put to Azkaban to prevent further damage.

Given the way the Magical justice works in the world of Harry Potter, this is not surprising.

  • Is there any instance of a trial in the HP universe? – DCOPTimDowd Jul 3 '17 at 16:19
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    A lot. in GoF, Harry observes several trials on Dumbledore's pensieve. In OotP, he himself faces a trial. – TimSparrow Jul 3 '17 at 16:22
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    @Skooba -In Case Two - one could argue that the trial did not not take place because the situation was resolved within a short period from the date of Hagrid's arrest, and before the scheduled trial date. However in Case One- Hagrid wasn't just expelled. His wand was snapped! That would require a trial. So, Hagrid's trial MUST be assumed to exist somewhere within the far reaches of Unwritten Canon – user88577 Aug 19 '17 at 16:25
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    @Skooba case two: I agree, the trial could have been scheduled, but never actually occur. Another possibility is that Hagrid was not charged with murder conspiracy, but only detained for a period the law allows. As to case 1, my opinion is still that there was no trial. As Hagrid was expelled, his wand was snapped by the MoM officials, because untrained Wizard has no right to perform magic. In Harry Potter's time, there definitely would be a trial. But 50 year earlier - who knows, the question remains open. – TimSparrow Aug 21 '17 at 10:22

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