Criminal Procedure

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  • Criminal Procedure (offences)
    • summary offences
      • Most minor crimes
        • examples and offences include driving and traffic offences, common assault and battery etc and criminal damage less than 5000
      • if d pleads guilty then mag may sentence immediately or request pre sentence report
        • if d pleads not guilty goes straight to trial
      • always heard in mag court
      • hearings often adjourned as the cps doesn't have all info needed or d want legal advice or mag want pre sentencing report
        • always if not guilty plea mainly to determine bail or if they need to send witness summons
    • Triable either way offences
      • middle range crimes
        • examples include abh, theft etc
        • tried in either mag or crown courts
      • if d pleas guilty
        • plea before venue
          • d is asked what he pleas if guilty case is automatically heard by the mag and d has not right to referal to crown
            • BUT
              • mag can still send to crown for sentencing if feel it should go beyond their limits of e.g 6 months - 1yr for 2 or more offences and max fine of £5000
      • if d pleas not guilty
        • mode of trial is carried out
          • were decision must be made on were trial takes place
            • the mag decide case is suitable for them
              • under s19 of the magistrates court act must consider nature and seriousness of the offence and their powers of punishment
              • cases involving complex questions of law etc must be sent to crown
          • other factors to consider =
            • breach of trust?
            • was it committed by an organised gang
            • was amount involved more than twice amount that mag can fine
        • defendants election
          • if mag prepped to hear the case d must be told has the right to choose were to be herd but must be warned if choses mag d can still be sent to crown for sentencing
    • indictable offences
      • most serious level of crime
        • examples include rape manslaughter and murder
      • always tried in crown court
        • but 1st hearing dealt with by mag
      • eah deals with all admin matters i.e legal funding bail atc but all others are dealt with by judge in the crown court
    • all cases start in the magistrates cvourt


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