Criminal Courts

Directly from the OCR AS Law book - fact sentences turned into questions to test yourself on the Criminal Courts chapter. Enjoy!

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How many magistrates courts are there in England and Wales?
About 330.
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What is the job of Magistrates for criminal cases?
Try all summary cases, triable either way cases that are dealt with in the MC, first hearing of indictable offences, side matters for criminal offences (eg warrants for arrest/bail), motoring offences, try cases in youth court.
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How many cases do the magistrates deal with per year?
Over one and a half million.
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How are summary offences sub-divided?
They are sub-divided into different levels - level one being the lowest and level five the highest.
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What are the maximum fines for each level?
Level 1 - £200, L2 - £500, L3 - £1,000, L4 - £2,500, L5 - £5,000
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How much (max) can businesses be fined by the Magistrates?
£20,000.
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What is the maximum prison sentence on a summary trial?
6 months for one offence.
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For two or more triable either way offences what is the max prison sentences?
12 months.
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What % of defendents plead guilty in the Magistrates Court?
Over 90%
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What is the usual sequence of events where the defendant pleads guilty?
CPS give case resume, defendant asked whether they agree to case facts, defendants past record and info is given e.g. reports, mitigation, sentence.
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What are the negatives of a not guilty plea?
The proceedure is longer and more complicated.
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What is the examination-in-chief?
Prossecution witnesses will be called to give evidence, the prosecutor will question each to establish what they saw/heard.
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What does the defence do after the examination-in-chief of a witness?
The defence will cross-examine that witness to test their evidence and try to show its unreliability.
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What may the prossecution also produce?
Relevant exhibits, such as property found in the possession of the defendant or documents which help establish the case.
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When is there 'no case to answer'?
The defence can state that there is no case to answer and that the case should be dismissed at this point if there isn't sufficient evidence from the prosecution.
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What act stated that conclusions could be drawn from silence?
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
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Once all of the evidence has been given, what can the defence make a speech on?
A speech can be made pointing out all of the weaknesses of the case to the magistrates and try to persuade them to aquit the defendant.
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What is the one exception when a defendant can be retried for the same case?
When the prossecution sucessfully appeals against the aquittal in a 'case stated' appeal.
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If the Magistrates feel that their powers of punishment are not sufficient, what can they do?
Send the case to the crown court for sentencing.
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What act states that indictable offences must be immediately sent to the crown court after the first hearing?
The Crime and Disorder Act 1998,
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What happens in a mode of trial hearing?
It is decided whether the case will be heard in the Magistrates or Crown Court.
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What are the required qualifications of a clerk in the magistrates court?
A solicitor or barrister of 5 or more years.
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What is the role of the clerk?
To guide the magistrates on questions of law, practice and proceedure. The clerk ensures that the correct proceedure is followed in court.
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What is the clerk not meant to do?
Take part in the decision making process.
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What greater powers has the senior clerk been granted to deal with?
Issue warrants for arrest, extend police bail, adjourn criminal proceedings, conduct early administrative hearings.
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What age of people are dealt with in the Youth Court?
10-17.
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What are the exceptional cases where young offenders can be tried in the crown court?
Where the defendant is charged with murder, manslaughter, **** or death my danerous driving. Or 14+ year olds convicted of an offence where an adult sentence would be over 14 years.
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What are the requirements of Magistrates who sit in the Youth Court?
Under 65, specially trained to deal with young offenders. There must be at least one male and one female magistrate on the bench
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What three types of Crown Court centres are there?
First tier - High & crown court, in main city centres, Second tier - Crown court only, Third tier - murder, manslaughter and **** and not generally heard here.
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How many cases does the crown court deal with per year?
100,000.
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What is the indictment?
This is a document that formally sets out the charges against the defendant.
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What rules deal with all aspects of criminal cases?
Criminal procedure rules.
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When did Criminal Procedure Rules come into place?
April 2005
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What is the overriding objective of the Rules?
That 'criminal cases be dealt with justly'
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What act places a duty on each side to make certain points known to the other?
The Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996.
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After the prosecution's primary disclosure, the defence must give a written statement to the prosecution stating what?
-The nature of the accused's offence, -Any matters of fact that he takes issue with and why, -Any point of law which he wishes to take, and the case authority on which he will be relying. - Also details about any alibi or witnesses to support alibi.
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When are most cases that are sent to the Crown Court dealt with?
At a plea and case management hearing (PCMH).
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What is the purpose of a PCMH?
To find out whether the defendant is pleading guilty or not guilty.
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What happens at a PCMH?
All the charges in the indictment are read out to the defendant in open court, he is then asked how he pleads to each charge. This is known as the arraignment.
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What happens if a defendant pleads guilty?
If possible, the judge will sentence immediately without the long wait for the case to come to court.
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What happens if a defendant pleads not guilty?
The case will get tried by a jury. To prepare, the judge will get both sides to identify key issues of fact and law involved. He will then give any necessary directions.
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The Criminal Procedure Rules encourages active case management, what does case management in the crown court include?
-identification of key issues/needs of witnesses, - knowing what must be done by who and when, - monitoring case progress, evidence presented clearly, discouraging delay, encouraging participants to cooperate in case, making use of technology.
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Who can represent clients in a Crown Court?
Barristers or Solicitors with a Certificate of Advocacy, clients can also represent themselves.
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What is the order of events if the defendant pleads not guilty? (1)
-Jury enters, - Prosecution opening speech, - Prosecution witnesses evidence, - Defence may state: no case to go to jury, - Defence may make opening speech, - Defence witnesses give evidence, - Prosecution and then defence make closing speeches,
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What is the order of events if the defendant pleads not guilty? (2)
- Judge sums up case to jury, - Jury decides verdict in private, - Jury's verdict is given, - Guilty = Judge sentences, - Not guilty = usually discharged.
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In what circumstance can a defendant be tried a second time? And what act allowed it?
If 'new and compelling evidence' comes to light - Criminal Justice Act 2003.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is the job of Magistrates for criminal cases?

Back

Try all summary cases, triable either way cases that are dealt with in the MC, first hearing of indictable offences, side matters for criminal offences (eg warrants for arrest/bail), motoring offences, try cases in youth court.

Card 3

Front

How many cases do the magistrates deal with per year?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How are summary offences sub-divided?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What are the maximum fines for each level?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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