Pre-Trial Procedure

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  • pre trial procedure
    • summary offences
      • least serious offences
      • includes common assault and driving offences
      • the defendant's first appearance is in a Magistrates Court
        • a single offence-6 months in prison (highest that a Magistrates can issue)
      • can gain legal representation from a duty solicitor
      • the defendant must enter a GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY plea
        • GUILTY PLEA: can issue a sentence there and then or they may decide that a PRE SENTENCE REPORT should be obtained
        • NOT GUILTY PLEA: a trial date will be decided and it may be adjourned for a PRE TRIAL REVIEW (details how many witnesses used and the length of the trial
          • issues such as bail can be decided and public funded is decided upon for legal representation at trial
    • Indictable offences
      • most serious offences
      • includes murder and S.18 of OAPA 1861
      • A life sentence can be issued at the Crown Court
      • first hearing in a Magistrates Court
        • defendant can make bail application and apply for public funding for legal representation
        • case then sent to the Crown Court after this EARLY ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING
      • Enter a plea of GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY in the Crown Court
        • GUILTY PLEA: a judge may sentence there and then or obtain a PRE SENTENCE REPORT
        • NOT GUILTY PLEA: date will be fixed and a PRE TRIAL REVIEW will be conducted
    • Either way offences
      • includes S.20 of GBH and wounding and serious ABH
      • first hearing always in a Magistrates court known as a  MODE OF TRIAL HEARING
        • decide where the case should be heard and the defendant also has a choice on where it is heard
          • depends on the nature and seriousness of the offence, the powers of punishment of the court and advice given by defence or prosecution
      • Enter a plea of GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY
        • GUILTY PLEA: sentence may be issued there and then or may have to be issued by Crown Court if longer than 6 month sentence
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