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Words and Meanings

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ADJOURNED/ADJOURNMENT - Case being postponed until another date.

BARRISTER - Lawyer entitled to represent clients in all courts.

CHARGE - Formally accuse someone with an offence under law.

COMMITTAL FOR TRIAL - Sendinga case to the Crown Court for a trial to take place because it is too serious for the Magistrates to deal with or because the defendant has elected to be tried by a Jury.

COMMITTAL FOR SENTENCE - Sending a case to the Crown Court for a defendant to be sentenced because the case carries a higher sentence than the Magistrates have the authority to impose.

CONVICTION - Formal declaration that someone is guilty of a criminal offence.

COURT CLERK - Qualified lawyers who advise the Magistrates about the law and legal procedures, they are also present in Crown Courts but their role is of a Clerk and not a legal advisor.

COURT USHER - Court staff who make sure that all people connected with a case are in the right place and know what they have to do.

CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE - Independentnational body for the prosecution of defendants.

DEFENCE LAWYER - Lawyer responsible for defending the accused person in court.

DEFENDANT - Person who has been accused and charged with committing a crime.

GUILTY PLEA - Defendant admits committing the crime which means no trial is required.

JUDGE - Public officer appointed to decide cases in a court of law.

JURY - Body of people (usually 12) sworn to give a verdict in a legal case based on the evidence submitted to them in court.

MAGISTRATE - A civil officer who administers the law in a Magistrates Court.

NEWTON - Similar to a Trial but the defendant has pleaded guilty to an offence but there a factual issues to resolve.

NOT GUILTY PLEA - Complete denial of the offence which means a trial is required.

OIC - Police Officer who is in charge of the case.

PRE- SENTENCE REPORT - Documents prepared by the Probation Service to assist in the sentencing of the defendant after they have been convicted. This can include, prior arrests, convictions, employment history.

REMANDED IN CUSTODY - Kept in prison until the next court hearing.

SPECIAL MEASURES - Use of screens/TV Link and other measures to assist witnesses in giving evidence, only available in certain circumstances.

TRIAL - Formal examination of evidence in order to decide upon guilt.

VICTIM PERSONAL STATEMENT - Optional statement in which a victim of crime or a victims family can explain how the incident has impacted on their life emotionally, financially, physically and mentally.

VICTIM SUPPORT - Independent national charity that helps people cope with the effects of crime.

WITNESS CARE OFFICER - Person who will contact you to ensure all of your practical needs are met for the duration of the case.

WITNESS SERVICE - A branch of Victim Support who are present in all courts to assist victims and witnesses on the day of a trial.

 

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