Chlo4929
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I’m told to talk about the process of a case being heard however I’ve not been any other information so I’m really confused. I think the first stage is that the defendant is brought before the court but what happens after that , sorry if this doesn’t make any sense because , would appreciate help
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Crazy Jamie
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There are many different answers to this question depending on what type of case you're talking about. Do you know what type of case this refers to? What is this for? School project? University tutorial? How long are you expected to speak for?
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Kessler`
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This is dependent on the type of case. You have mentioned "the defendant" so I'm assuming it's a criminal or civil case. Even then it is dependent on the 'level' or seriousness of a case.

For the sake of brevity, I'll deal with the criminal case process. Let me know if you need to understand the civil case system instead.

There are two types of 'first instance' courts, Magistrates' and Crown Courts. The first deal with minor 'summary' offences, anything involving a sentence of up to 6 months' imprisonment. Everything else, is transferred to the Crown Court.

On a Defendant's 'first appearance', they are brought before the Magistrates and asked whether they plead guilty or not guilty. If they are guilty, then depending on how serious the case is, sentence can take place immediately, be adjourned to a later date (usually to allow preparation of a report into the Defendant's background to assist the court with sentencing options) or - for the more serious cases - the case is 'committed' (sent) to the Crown Court for sentence by a Circuit Judge or Recorder.

If the Defendant pleads Not Guilty, the case is adjourned for trial on a later date in the Magistrates' Court or - again for more serious cases - the case is sent for trial in the Crown Court before a jury. Trials in the Magistrates' Court are before three Magistrates or a District Judge. In some cases, where the alleged offence is known as an "either-way offence", the Defendant can choose or 'elect' trial in the Crown Court instead of the Magistrates. The supposed benefit is that - if you lose - the sentence can be lower and the costs will be lower. In reality, this is not the case as the Magistrates can still send you to the Crown Court for sentence! From a practioner's point of view - and I accept I am somewhat jaded - you are a fool to think you can have a fair trial before the Magistrates! For most, it's a rubber stamping exercise and v frustrating for a Defendant. Always elect for a jury trial if you have that option - at least a jury have a chance at giving proper consideration to the evidence and do not automatically assume that police officers are incapable of lying/getting things wrong!

After a trial case is sent to the Crown Court, there is a separate process to trial. The first hearing in the Crown Court is a 'PTPH' or "Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing". A Defendant is 'arraigned' on an 'indictment' which is a fancy way of saying that the Defendant confirms whether they are guilty or not guilty to each allegation. The judge will then issue directions to manage the case to trial. The modern process is all digital based (no more paper files etc) and you will hear the lawyers talking about "Stages". Each Stage marks the point at which stages of preparation are complete. So, Stage 1 means the Prosecution (or 'the Crown') have served/uploaded to the file all the evidence against the Defendant on which they will rely. Stage 2 is when the Defendant responds, most importantly providing a document called the Defence Statement that says "this is my Defence to each allegation and these are the witnesses which I will challenge". If the case is particularly complicated, there may be stages 3 and 4 which involve certain specific preparations including, by way of example, issues of protected documents which need to be disclosed (Social Services records and so on) or applications for 'Special Measures' (where witnesses need protection/child witnesses need to have arrangements put in place).

Finally, the day of trial arrives. A jury will be selected, a Defendant will have the opportunity to say whether he objects to any particular juror (on sensible grounds, such as they are known to him/her etc) and the prosecution barrister introduces the case to the jury. The prosecution will then present their evidence, each prosecution witness will tell their story and the defence barrister will cross-examine them to 'test' their evidence. When the prosecution finish, the Defence present their case: the Defendant will give evidence followed by his or her witnesses. Similarly, the prosecution barrister will cross-examine them. Each barrister will then make a closing speech to the jury 'this is why you should find the Defendant guilty/not guilty" and the judge will then sum up the facts in a neutral way (albeit most judges like to put a 'spin' on the case!) and explain certain relevant matters of law which the jurors might have to consider.

The jury then retire. They are usually given at least 2.5 hours to decide their verdict which must be unanimous. If they cannot decide (and, dependent on the complexity of the case, they can be given longer) then the judge accepts a majority verdict (at least 10 of the 12 must agree). If they still cannot decide and there really is no point waiting any more (the judge will decide how long to wait, but sometimes a jury will say 'we are not going to be able to reach a decision') then the case results in a 'hung jury'. Technically, that means a Not Guilty verdict, but the Crown will almost certainly retrial on another date. That specific decision is dependent again on cost, complexity and any other specific issues in the case.

Hope that helps: let me know if you need to understand the civil case process!
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Kessler`
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(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
There are many different answers to this question depending on what type of case you're talking about. Do you know what type of case this refers to? What is this for? School project? University tutorial? How long are you expected to speak for?
You know, I thought exactly the same after I started writing my reply I really hope to goddamn that I got it right with crime! Hope you are well, by the way! Good Christmas and so? I'm back to work tomorrow - so much for my Christmas break!
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by Kessler`)
You know, I thought exactly the same after I started writing my reply I really hope to goddamn that I got it right with crime! Hope you are well, by the way! Good Christmas and so? I'm back to work tomorrow - so much for my Christmas break!
I think the odds are with you on it being crime. You should be safe.

Yes, I've had (and am having) a good break, thanks. One that was sorely needed. I feel for you being back tomorrow. Not so much of a demand for work between Christmas and New Year in my practice areas, but I take that period off every year anyway as a matter of principle. I'm back on the 6th and am intending to do as little work as possible between now and then. I hope at the very least your days are short and uneventful this week.
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Chlo4929
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(Original post by Kessler`)
This is dependent on the type of case. You have mentioned "the defendant" so I'm assuming it's a criminal or civil case. Even then it is dependent on the 'level' or seriousness of a case.

For the sake of brevity, I'll deal with the criminal case process. Let me know if you need to understand the civil case system instead.

There are two types of 'first instance' courts, Magistrates' and Crown Courts. The first deal with minor 'summary' offences, anything involving a sentence of up to 6 months' imprisonment. Everything else, is transferred to the Crown Court.

On a Defendant's 'first appearance', they are brought before the Magistrates and asked whether they plead guilty or not guilty. If they are guilty, then depending on how serious the case is, sentence can take place immediately, be adjourned to a later date (usually to allow preparation of a report into the Defendant's background to assist the court with sentencing options) or - for the more serious cases - the case is 'committed' (sent) to the Crown Court for sentence by a Circuit Judge or Recorder.

If the Defendant pleads Not Guilty, the case is adjourned for trial on a later date in the Magistrates' Court or - again for more serious cases - the case is sent for trial in the Crown Court before a jury. Trials in the Magistrates' Court are before three Magistrates or a District Judge. In some cases, where the alleged offence is known as an "either-way offence", the Defendant can choose or 'elect' trial in the Crown Court instead of the Magistrates. The supposed benefit is that - if you lose - the sentence can be lower and the costs will be lower. In reality, this is not the case as the Magistrates can still send you to the Crown Court for sentence! From a practioner's point of view - and I accept I am somewhat jaded - you are a fool to think you can have a fair trial before the Magistrates! For most, it's a rubber stamping exercise and v frustrating for a Defendant. Always elect for a jury trial if you have that option - at least a jury have a chance at giving proper consideration to the evidence and do not automatically assume that police officers are incapable of lying/getting things wrong!

After a trial case is sent to the Crown Court, there is a separate process to trial. The first hearing in the Crown Court is a 'PTPH' or "Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing". A Defendant is 'arraigned' on an 'indictment' which is a fancy way of saying that the Defendant confirms whether they are guilty or not guilty to each allegation. The judge will then issue directions to manage the case to trial. The modern process is all digital based (no more paper files etc) and you will hear the lawyers talking about "Stages". Each Stage marks the point at which stages of preparation are complete. So, Stage 1 means the Prosecution (or 'the Crown') have served/uploaded to the file all the evidence against the Defendant on which they will rely. Stage 2 is when the Defendant responds, most importantly providing a document called the Defence Statement that says "this is my Defence to each allegation and these are the witnesses which I will challenge". If the case is particularly complicated, there may be stages 3 and 4 which involve certain specific preparations including, by way of example, issues of protected documents which need to be disclosed (Social Services records and so on) or applications for 'Special Measures' (where witnesses need protection/child witnesses need to have arrangements put in place).

Finally, the day of trial arrives. A jury will be selected, a Defendant will have the opportunity to say whether he objects to any particular juror (on sensible grounds, such as they are known to him/her etc) and the prosecution barrister introduces the case to the jury. The prosecution will then present their evidence, each prosecution witness will tell their story and the defence barrister will cross-examine them to 'test' their evidence. When the prosecution finish, the Defence present their case: the Defendant will give evidence followed by his or her witnesses. Similarly, the prosecution barrister will cross-examine them. Each barrister will then make a closing speech to the jury 'this is why you should find the Defendant guilty/not guilty" and the judge will then sum up the facts in a neutral way (albeit most judges like to put a 'spin' on the case!) and explain certain relevant matters of law which the jurors might have to consider.

The jury then retire. They are usually given at least 2.5 hours to decide their verdict which must be unanimous. If they cannot decide (and, dependent on the complexity of the case, they can be given longer) then the judge accepts a majority verdict (at least 10 of the 12 must agree). If they still cannot decide and there really is no point waiting any more (the judge will decide how long to wait, but sometimes a jury will say 'we are not going to be able to reach a decision') then the case results in a 'hung jury'. Technically, that means a Not Guilty verdict, but the Crown will almost certainly retrial on another date. That specific decision is dependent again on cost, complexity and any other specific issues in the case.

Hope that helps: let me know if you need to understand the civil case process!
thanks so much for this I appreciate it , the thing is that I wasn’t give any information about what type of case it is. I remember my tutor did say to include how the CPS and witnesses and evidence are involved. My topic is on on court- trial if that helps
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Chlo4929
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(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
There are many different answers to this question depending on what type of case you're talking about. Do you know what type of case this refers to? What is this for? School project? University tutorial? How long are you expected to speak for?
Yeah for university tutorial. I’ve been told to talk about courts (trial )and talk about the process by which a case is heard
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aspiringlawyerNW
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(Original post by Chlo4929)
thanks so much for this I appreciate it , the thing is that I wasn’t give any information about what type of case it is. I remember my tutor did say to include how the CPS and witnesses and evidence are involved. My topic is on on court- trial if that helps
If the CPS are involved then it'll be a criminal trial they are asking for. You could start with the CPS website?
https://www.cps.gov.uk/going-court

If it's for a University assignment then it isn't really a great idea asking for information on a forum which you would be unable to reference later. There are a couple of textbooks which outline the criminal procedure, so check your reading list and/or library for one.
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Chlo4929
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(Original post by LpoolLawStudent)
If the CPS are involved then it'll be a criminal trial they are asking for. You could start with the CPS website?
https://www.cps.gov.uk/going-court

If it's for a University assignment then it isn't really a great idea asking for information on a forum which you would be unable to reference later. There are a couple of textbooks which outline the criminal procedure, so check your reading list and/or library for one.
Hi thanks for this , it’s not for a assignment x
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