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Bail & Mode of Trial - Baldric is charged with the theft of a large quantity of turnips.What factors would influence the court on whether to grant bail or not?

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Criminal Law Questions James Goodwin Bail & Mode of Trial 1. Baldric is charged with the theft of a large quantity of turnips. What factors would influence the court on whether to grant bail or not? Bail is a very important pre-trial matter. It is basically a decision on whether a person charged with a crime should be detained or be at liberty until their next or indeed first court date. Bail is not necessary in most cases as most people prosecuted are summonsed to court rather than charged, this means that they are at liberty until found guilty of the crime in court, or the conditions changing and they being charged and refused bail. As the question however, states that it is the court who are deciding whether to grant Baldrick bail or not, we must presume that he has indeed been charged, and he has been refused police bail, or indeed the case has already begun and the court are thinking of maybe changing the bail the police have granted. If it has got to court it means that baldrick has not been granted bail already by the police. If this had been done it would have been under section 38 of the police and criminal evidence act and the bail act 1976. it could however be that the police have indeed failed to grant bail and the defendant has been brought before the magistrates as set out in the bail act 1976 to decide whether or not the police have indeed acted legally in not granting bail. ...read more.


In deciding whether there is sufficient reason to believe that Baldrick may meet one of the above criteria, the court will look at his past record, to see if he has failed to surrender to bail before, or whether he is likely to commit another crime whilst on bail. They will also look at his character and standing in the community. The strength of evidence against him will also be taken into consideration. With little knowledge of his crime at hand we can only guess at the conclusions the court will make. 2. Theft is a trialable either way offence. a. Describe how the decision is made as to which court the case is tried in. The criminal court system as a way of classifying cases s to allocate them the proper court to be tried in. This gives each case an allotment of time and money relative to the crime committed. There are three classifications for criminal cases. The first and most serious in for indictable offences. These offences include murder, rape, manslaughter and treason. Indictable cases are always tried in the crown court. the second is trialable either way cases. These are cases which can, depending on certain criteria, go to either the indictable route or the summary trial route crimes such as theft and causing grievous bodily harm are in this band. The summary trial is the least serious of the three. ...read more.


The power for higher sentences is also present in the crown court which is not in the magistrates'. The magistrates court may seem less or indeed more appealing after the above points, but this court too has it's draw backs and pluses. It's bonuses are the much speedier trials and time leading to trial. This is much better if you want to get the case over with quickly. The cost involved is also a lot lower. The prices given above for the cases just show how much cheaper it will be in the magistrate's court. Another good reason for Baldrick to choose the magistrates' is the generally lower sentences they impose. This is a real incentive for anyone who feels there is a good chance of being found guilty regardless of which court they are tried in. The bad points about trial in a magistrates' are basically the much higher rate of conviction than the crown court. they seem to have a much less open minded view of alleged criminals than the public jury. Reasons for this may be the magistrates' advanced age. They may be more cynical or indeed more inclined to believe that the police would not have arrested and charged them had they not committed a crime. This is perhaps the mirror of the more sceptical view to the law and police of the jury. Which ever court Baldrick chooses he is not in for an easy time. He has the worry of either a much higher conviction rate, or a much higher sentence. The only real way to decide is to way up his chances of being found guilty. ...read more.

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