GOING TO TRIAL information from Lawsons Solicitors click to see I have no connection with this firm. Do not think they do LEGAL AID. They do have lots of information that you may find useful such as this:
“When you have been given a date for a plea and trial preparation hearing (PTPH), it generally means that your case has been transferred from the magistrates court to the crown court. This hearing will be your next court date.
If a defendant pleads not guilty to the offence they are charged with in a PTPH, the prosecution and defence counsel will have had a discussion prior to the case being heard in court. The defence barrister will have been briefed on the case before the hearing, so that they know:
- The details of the case
- Why the not guilty plea is being entered
- What the issues are
The barristers will then complete what is known as the PTPH form, which is a legal requirement and will be used by the judge when fixing the trial and deciding on when it will be and how long it will last.
During the hearing itself, the judge will fix a timetable of when they expect things to happen. Typically, this will involve the prosecution being directed to serve the evidence upon which they intend to rely by a certain date. This is referred to as Stage 1.
The judge will also direct that the defence respond with what is known as a Defence Case Statement by a certain date. This is referred to as Stage 2. The Defence Case Statement is an important part of the preparation for trial. It is a document that outlines in some detail what the defendant is saying about the prosecution case against them. It will also outline why the defendant is pleading not guilty and what further evidence should be disclosed as part of the defence’s preparations for trial.
Stage 3 is normally the last stage, which involves the prosecution formally responding to the Defence Case Statement. Depending on that response, further arguments can then take place. These are typically more complicated and relate to the specific details of the case, often involving a legal argument in court.
The last thing that the judge will normally do is set a date for the trial, along with any further dates where legal arguments may take place.”