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Ocr Law Unit1 Chapter 5

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CHAPTER 5: PRETRIAL PROCEDURE IN CRIMINAL CASES
All criminal cases have a PRETRIAL hearing at magistrates court.
This will very rarely be the only hearing - only where the person pleads guilty, no further enquiry is needed and the person already has or does not want legal rep.
Final trial will be in either mag. or crown court
Summary offences: nearly all driving, common assault, criminal damage under £5000
Can be dealt with in first hearing but unlikely, may need to gather evidence of root guilty plea, request medical reports, call witnesses, other information to determine sentence in guilty plea.
Time is saved by new Early Admin Hearings (EAH) - decide bail, request reports, etc
Triable either way: common assault leading to ABH, theft,
Plea before venue - guilty plea, magistrates may send to crown for sentencing; not guilty plea, mode of trial.
Mode of trial - magistrates decide what they think is suitable and if they will accept jurisdiction (s19 of mag court act 1980 - consider seriousness, nature of case, own powers of punishment, representations of prosecution and defence). Cases involving complex questions of fact or law should go to crown. Prosecutions wishes might be considered also.
Defendants election: if magistrates accept jurisdiction, defendant has the right to choose trial by jury. He should also be informed that if he chooses to be tried at magistrates, they can still send his case to down for sentencing.
IF YOU PLEA GUILTY YOU CAN'T HAVE A TRIAL BY JURY
Indictable offences: rape, murder, GBH,
MUST be heard and sentenced at crown. If an indictable offence is plead not guilty then it must be tried by a jury.
The first hearing (EAH) is still at magistrates court - deals with bail, application for legal aid, conditions of/issues with bail, etc
Will then go straight to crown court

BAIL
Police
Can grant bail while making further enquiries - they must return to the police station on a certain day
Can grant bail while awaiting trial (a person who has been charged) - they must report to the magistrates court on a certain day
Decision is made by a custody officer under s38 PACE(1984)
Police have the right to arrest a person who breaches bail.
84% of those charged are given bail
Bail won't be given if the persons name and address cannot be ascertained or is doubted
Police have the right to impose conditions of bail, these must be in order to ensure they surrender to bail, do not commit further offence, do not interfere with witnesses or the course of justice - passport hand in, curfew, etc
If the defendant is not granted bail, they must be brought to magistrates at first opportunity who will either deal with the case or decide whether to grant bail or not, question of giving bail can be considered at any later point in court hearings
Bail Act 1976
Presumption in favour of bail
Unless there is reasonable suspicion that will fail to surrender, commit further offences, interfere with witnesses, are charged with murder, rape, attempted, manslaughter or has previously served time for these, on bail and its is likely they will reoffend if put back on bail
Renewed applications/appeals are made to crown court, wherever you are being tried. Normally only one is allowed, unless there is a change in circumstance.
Restrictions
If a person is charged with a (repeat) serious offence (rape murder etc) and they've already served for a similar offence, they will only be granted bail in an exceptional circumstance
If an over 18 commits the offence while on bail, s14 of crim just act (2003) amended bail act to read "may not be granted bail unless court is satisfied that there is no significant risk of his committing an offence on bail"
Adult drug users who tested positive for specified class A drugs and
Charged with possession or possession with intent to sell, substantial grounds for believing misuse of such drug caused or contributed to offence, or offence was motivated by intent to misuse such drug or refused to participate in assessment of follow up regarding his relationship with such drug
Such a defendant will be granted bail only if court is satisfied there is no significant risk of his committing an offence on bail.
Those charged with murder can only be granted bail by the crown court

All cases that can be sentenced with imprisonment can be appealed by prosecution to crown court - bail amendment act 1993
Around 4000 people each year are remanded on custody, to be found not guilty or given a non custodial sentence,

CPS
Established by Prosecution of Offences Act (1986)
Head is director of public prosecution, must have been qualified as a lawyer for at least ten years. Appointed by and supervised by Attorney General.
42 chief crown prosecutors, one head per division of the country.
Sub divisions - headed by branch crown prosecutors
Decide what offence should be charged
Review evidence and public interest as to whether case should proceed responsible for case once it has left police
Conducting prosecution in magistrates court - usually done by CPS employees, such as crown prosecutors
Conduction crown prosecution - eg instructing independent lawyers
Once a case is charged or summonsed, the case is no longer that of the police.
Crown prosecutors and associate/assistant prosecutors, lawyers and non lawyers to prosecute cases. Non lawyers are trained specifically to conduct a case in court.

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