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Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1975

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

334Procedure at first diet, etc.

(1)Where the accused is present at the first calling of the case in a summary prosecution, and—

(a)the complaint has been served on him, or

(b)the complaint or the substance thereof has been read to him, or

(c)he has legal assistance in his defence,

he shall be asked to plead in common form, and he may, prior to pleading, state objections to the competency or relevancy of the complaint or the proceedings and no such objections shall be allowed to be stated at any future diet in the case except with the leave of the court, which may be granted only on cause shown.

(2)Objections to the competency or relevancy of a summary complaint or the proceedings thereon may, in the absence of the accused, be stated by counsel or by a solicitor on his behalf, and where such objections are so stated the provisions of this Part of this Act shall apply in like manner as if the accused had appeared and stated the objections.

(3)Where the accused is not present at a calling of the case in a summary prosecution and either—

(a)the prosecutor produces to the court written intimation that the accused pleads not guilty or pleads guilty and the court is satisfied that such written intimation has been made or authorised by the accused, or

(b)a solicitor, or a person not being a solicitor who satisfies the court that he is authorised by the accused, appears on behalf of the accused and tenders a plea of not guilty or a plea of guilty,

then—

(i)in the case of a plea of not guilty, the provisions of this Part of this Act except paragraph (a) of section 337 shall apply in like manner as if the accused had appeared and tendered the plea, and

(ii)in the case of a plea of guilty, the court may, if the prosecutor accepts the plea, proceed to hear and dispose of the case in the absence of the accused in like manner as if he had appeared and pled guilty, or may, if it thinks fit, continue the case to another diet and require the attendance of the accused with a view to pronouncing sentence in his presence.

(4)Where in pursuance of paragraph (ii) of the last foregoing subsection the court proceeds to hear and dispose of a case in the absence of the accused, it shall not pronounce a sentence of imprisonment or of Borstal training or of detention in a detention centre, young offenders institution, remand centre, or other establishment.

(5)In this section a reference to a plea of guilty shall include a reference to a plea of guilty to a part only of the charge:

Provided that where such a plea is not accepted by the prosecutor it shall be deemed to be a plea of not guilty.

(6)It shall not be competent for any person appearing to answer a complaint, or for a solicitor appearing for the accused in his absence, to plead want of due citation or informality therein or in the execution thereof.

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