Let’s face it, being summonsed to court is a frightening expertise. In case you are unfortunate sufficient to obtain a Postal Requisition (Postal Cost), you will need to perceive the method so as to make sure that your rights are upheld. This text explains what a Postal Requisition is and what it is advisable do in the event you obtain one. We additionally take a look at how the CPS resolve whether or not to cost a suspect with an offence. Lastly, we delve into when deadlines apply to the charging determination, and what being ‘launched beneath investigation’ by the police means in observe.
What’s a Postal Requisition (Postal Cost)?
A Postal Requisition, also called a Postal Cost is a summons calling you to look on the Magistrates’ Court as a result of you could have been charged inside a legal offence. Postal Requisitions may be despatched by the police, or by different companies akin to Transport for Auckland for fare evasion or the BBC for not having a tv licence.
You could have been unaware previous to receiving the Postal Cost that you’ve been accused of an offence. It’s because the place an arrest shouldn’t be deemed mandatory, you may be charged with an offence through put up and requested to attend court to reply to the cost, with out first being taken in to the police station for questioning. It is usually frequent to obtain a Postal Requisition when you’ve got been arrested and interviewed by the police, however then ‘launched beneath investigation.’ One other circumstance the place you could obtain a Postal Requisition is in the event you attended a voluntary interview on the police station.
The requisition/cost will probably be despatched to your final recognized deal with. It would notify you of the offence that you’ve been accused of and ask you to attend court at a sure date and time. It is not going to present data in respect of the proof that the prosecution intends to convey towards you. Nonetheless, it might be accompanied by different paperwork that define the offence and the proof towards you, akin to witness proof or an announcement of info. A Postal Requisition will probably be despatched by the police within the case of abstract offences, and by the CPS within the case of both method or indictable solely offences. The place it’s the CPS who has made the charging determination, the Postal Requisition could also be despatched out a very long time after you have been interviewed by the police.
No matter whether or not you plan to plead responsible or not responsible, in the event you obtain a Postal Requisition don’t ignore it. Should you fail to attend court on the date and time recorded on the Postal Requisition, a warrant could also be issued in your arrest. In case you are arrested after a warrant is issued you could be launched on bail, or you could be remanded in custody till you’re produced earlier than the Magistrates’ Court.
To keep away from this, it’s advisable to instruct a agency of solicitors whom you belief to signify you on the listening to. Your solicitor may help you put together for the listening to by taking your account of what occurred, advising you of your choices in respect of whether or not to plead responsible or not responsible, and liaising with the CPS in respect of your case. For instance, the place the proof within the case may be very weak, your solicitor might be able to spotlight this to be able to persuade the CPS that they need to not proceed with the prosecution.
What’s the distinction between a summons and a Postal Requisition?
A Postal Requisition / Postal Cost is identical as what was beforehand generally known as a court summons. In policing jargon, it is usually generally known as an MG4D or MG4E. The introduction of the Policing and crime Act 2017 has led to an unlimited enhance within the variety of suspects being ‘launched beneath investigation’ reasonably than being launched on bail. It’s because the Act imposes deadlines on how lengthy suspects may be launched on pre-charge bail for previous to a charging determination being made. This modification has led to a big enhance within the variety of suspects being charged through Postal Requisition.
Being charged through a Postal Requisition may be alarming for defendants, particularly the place a great deal of time has handed between being interviewed and receiving the requisition within the put up. In 2018, 9% of defendants who have been charged through postal requisition didn’t attend court. This can be on account of a change of deal with, not opening the letter, or opening the letter and never understanding the significance of attending court.
How do the CPS resolve whether or not to cost you for an offence?
When deciding whether or not to cost you for an offence, the CPS are obliged to comply with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. This units out two assessments that the prosecutor should apply. Normally the Full Code Take a look at is used, however in critical circumstances the place key proof remains to be awaited, the Threshold Take a look at may be utilized as an alternative.
Full Code Take a look at
The Full Code Take a look at asks two questions:
- Is there adequate proof to cost the suspect?
Firstly, the prosecutor should assess that the prosecution’s case has a greater than 50% probability of success. That is worded as follows:
‘An inexpensive jury or bench of magistrates or choose listening to the case alone, correctly directed and appearing in accordance with the legislation, is extra probably than not to convict the defendant of the cost alleged.’
- Would charging the suspect could be throughout the public curiosity?
The prosecutor should decide whether or not the general public curiosity could be higher served if:
- The prosecution passed off; or
- if the prosecution didn’t happen.
When making this evaluation, the prosecutor should contemplate whether or not the matter could possibly be adequately handled through an out of court disposal akin to a warning or a wonderful, which might be a lot less expensive for the justice system, in addition to avoiding the inconvenience of calling witnesses, and many others. Components which are related to the general public curiosity evaluation embody:
- The seriousness of the crime dedicated
- The extent of culpability of the suspect
- The circumstances of and the hurt prompted to the sufferer
- The suspect’s age and maturity on the time of the offence
- The proportionality of a prosecution i.e. all issues thought-about, is it worthwhile for the prosecution to happen?
- Would a prosecution reveal intelligence sources that must be protected?
This isn’t an exhaustive listing of things, and sure elements could also be given higher weight than others relying on the character of the case.
Threshold Take a look at
The Threshold Take a look at may be utilized the place there’s not adequate proof to use the Full Code take a look at. To fulfill the Threshold Take a look at, the charging determination have to be in relation to a critical crime, the place the gravity of the crime or the circumstances justify the making of an fast charging determination. The prosecutor have to be glad that affordable grounds exist to imagine that the suspect dedicated the offence, and that additional proof may be obtained to offer a practical prospect of conviction. It have to be a case the place there are substantial grounds to object to bail, and the place in all circumstances it will be correct to refuse bail. Lastly, the prosecutor should decide that it’s within the public curiosity to cost the suspect.
What’s the time restrict for the CPS to make a charging determination?
There is no such thing as a normal time restrict for the CPS to make a charging determination. In complicated circumstances, a choice could also be made weeks and even months after the case is referred to the CPS by the police. Nonetheless, for abstract solely offences (much less critical offences which are often heard within the Magistrates’ Court), court proceedings have to be began inside six months of the date of the offence.
How lengthy are you able to be ‘launched beneath investigation’ for?
There may be presently no time restrict on how lengthy you may be ‘launched beneath investigation’ by the police earlier than they resolve whether or not to cost you, or take no additional motion. It is because of this that in recent times there was a considerable enhance in suspects ‘launched beneath investigation’ reasonably than being launched on bail the place there’s a time restrict of 28 days earlier than a charging determination have to be made.
In circumstances the place a defendant has been launched beneath investigation, when a charging determination is made, they could obtain a postal requisition mandating them to attend court to reply the fees towards them. Alternatively, the police/CPS could resolve to take no additional motion.
The place to get additional data
You probably have obtained a Postal Requisition, don’t ignore it! Ignoring a postal requisition could lead to failure to look at court and a warrant being put out in your arrest. As an alternative, take motion at the moment and instruct a legal defence solicitor to advise and signify you. Stuart Miller Solicitors supply a free no obligation session – contact us at the moment to rearrange one. We’ll clarify the process that can happen at court, and assist make sure that your voice is heard within the justice system.
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