This is an extract of our Mode Of Trial And Committal document, which we sell as part of our Criminal Litigation Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Criminal Litigation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Core Module: Mode or Trial and Committal
Criminal Litigation Mode or Trial and Committal
1. Plea before venue hearing:??S.17A Magistrates Court Act 1980 Applicable to 'Either way offence' only!
Defendant [D] indicates how he intends to plea [guilty / not guilty]
D would have received any advanced disclosure from prosecution. Purpose of hearing = to assess the seriousness of the offence
I. D makes a Guilty Plea = Magistrates decide on sentencing [either sentence in Magistrates Court or commit to Crown Court if Magistrate's sentencing powers are inadequate. Maximum Magistrates sentence:
? One either way offence = 6 months; fine 5000 pounds
? Two or more either way offences = 12 months; Fine 5000 pounds
II. D makes Not Guilty Plea / D refused to enter a plea: Mode of Trial enquiry is required to determine whether D should be tried in Magistrates or Crown Court.
2. Mode of Trial hearing: a) Both prosecution and Defense make representations as to the appropriate trial venue. b) Magistrates then decide whether to retain jurisdiction - considering:
Submissions by both parties;
S.19(3) MCA 1980: The matters to which the court is to have regard under subsection (1) above are the nature of the case; whether the circumstances make the offence one of serious character; whether the punishment which a magistrates' court would have power to inflict for it would be adequate; and any other circumstances which appear to the court to make it more suitable for the offence to be tried in one way rather than the other.
1 General Sentencing guidelines e.g. Prosecution's version of the facts is always presumed to be correct for the mode of trial hearing - so Magistrates can cater for worse case scenario.
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