Pre-trial Procedure in Criminal Cases

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  • Created by: serish
  • Created on: 26-05-12 18:33

Pre-trial Procedure in Criminal Cases:

Pre-trial Hearings:                                                                                                           Criminal offences / in2 3 main categories:

  • 1.SUMMARY OFFENCES (SO): least serious, always tried in MC e.g. driving without license, common assault + criminal damage which caused     ↓£5000 damage
  • 2.TRIABLE EITHER WAY OFFENCES (TEWO): middle range, tried MC/CC e.g. theft, ABH
  • 3.INDICTABLE OFFENCES (IO): serious, must be tried at CC but 1st hearing dealt MC e.g. murder, manslaughter, ****

1. Pre-trial Procedure 4 SO:

  • Possible 4 case 2 be dealt with on 1st appearance in court, but adjournment might be needed if defendant (D) wants 2 get legal advice/CPS hasn't got all info needed 4 case. Also if MC want pre-sentence reports on D who pleads guilty (G) b4 deciding what sentence 2 impose
  • Always adjournment if D pleads not guilty (NG), get witnesses 2 court.  
  • main point 2 be considered on adjournment= D remanded on bail/custody?

Early Administrative Hearings (EAH):

  • EAH = 1st hearing, prevents delays
  • Aimed at --> discovering if D wants 2 apply 4 legal aid or not (+ if eligable 4 it) --> requesting pre-sentence/medical reports if appropriate --> deciding if D should be remanded in custody/on bail
  • can be dealt with by single M or by clerk of court

2. Pre-trial Procedure 4 TEWO:

Plea b4 venue (PBV):

  • Applies only 2 TEWO
  • D 1st asked if pleading G/NG
  • If plea=G, has no right 2 ask 4 case 2 be held at CC but M may decide 2 send D 2 CC 4 sentence

Mode of Trial (MOT):

  • MOT proceedings carried out if D pleads NG to decide where case will be tried, MC/CC
  • M 1st decide if think case suitable 4 trial in MC + whether prepared 2 accept jurisdiction (power 2 deal with case)
  • Under S.19 of Magistrates Court Act 1980, must consider nature + seriousness of case, own powers of punishment + any representations of prosecution & defence
  • cases involving complex ?s of law/fact should be sent 2 CC. Other factors making case more suitable 4 CC: -->breach of trust by D -->crime committed by organised gang --> amount involved more than twice amount M can fine D (max fine at MC = £5000)
  • Rare cases where Attorney-General/ Director of Public Prosecutions = prosecutor, under S19(4) of Magistrates Court Act 1980, M must send case 2 CC if that's what prosecution want
  • Other cases, prosecutions wishes considered by M b4 they decide if prepared 2 hear case/ send 2 CC

Defendant's Election:

  • If M accept jurisdiction, D has right 2 choose trial by jury (TBJ), but may be tried by MC if chooses this course
  • D warned if case tried by M + at end found G,

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