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Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

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Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, Cross Heading: Failure of accused to appear is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 25 August 2019. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Changes and effects yet to be applied to Part IX Crossheading Failure-of-accused-to-appear:

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Failure of accused to appearS

150 Failure of accused to appear.S

(1)This section applies where the accused in a summary prosecution fails to appear at any diet of which he has received intimation, or to which he has been cited other than a diet which, by virtue of section 148(5) of this Act, he is not required to attend.

(2)The court may adjourn the proceedings to another diet, and order the accused to attend at such diet, and appoint intimation of the diet to be made to him.

(3)The court may grant warrant to apprehend the accused.

[F1(3A)The grant, under subsection (3) above, at an intermediate diet [F2or a diet under section 148A of this Act] of a warrant to apprehend the accused has the effect of discharging the trial diet as respects that accused.

(3B)Subsection (3A) above is subject to any order to different effect made by the court when granting the warrant.]

[F3(3C)An order under subsection (3B) above—

(a)for the purpose of having a trial in absence of the accused under section 150A of this Act, may be made on the motion of the prosecutor;

(b)for any other purpose, may be made on the motion of the prosecutor or of the court's own accord.]

(4)Intimation under subsection (2) above shall be sufficiently given by an officer of law, or by letter signed by the clerk of court or prosecutor and sent to the accused at his last known address by registered post or by the recorded delivery service, and the production in court of the written execution of such officer or of an acknowledgement or certificate of the delivery of the letter issued by the [F4postal operator] shall be sufficient evidence of such intimation having been duly given.

(5)F5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(6)F5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(7)F5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(8)An accused who without reasonable excuse fails to attend any diet of which he has been given due notice, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction—

(a)to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale; and

(b)to a period of imprisonment not exceeding—

(i)in the [F6JP court] , 60 days; or

(ii)in the sheriff court, [F712] months.

(9)[F8A penalty under subsection (8) above shall] be imposed in addition to any other penalty which it is competent for the court to impose, notwithstanding that the total of penalties imposed may exceed the maximum penalty which it is competent to impose in respect of the original offence.

[F9(9A)The reference in subsection (9) above to a penalty being imposed in addition to another penalty means, in the case of sentences of imprisonment or detention—

(a)where the sentences are imposed at the same time (whether or not in relation to the same complaint), framing the sentences so that they have effect consecutively;

(b)where the sentences are imposed at different times, framing the sentence imposed later so that (if the earlier sentence has not been served) the later sentence has effect consecutive to the earlier sentence.

(9B)Subsection (9A)(b) above is subject to section 204A of this Act.

(9C)In any proceedings in relation to an offence under subsection (8) above, the fact that (as the case may be) an accused—

(a)failed to appear at a diet; or

(b)was given due notice of a diet,

shall, unless challenged by preliminary objection before his plea is recorded, be held as admitted.]

[F10(10)At any time before the trial in the prosecution in which the failure to appear occurred, it is competent to amend the complaint to include an additional charge of an offence under subsection (8).]

Textual Amendments

F1S. 150(3A)(3B) inserted (retrospectively) by Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 4), s. 1(1)(2) (with s. 1(4))

F4Words in s. 150(4) substituted (26.3.2001) by S.I. 2001/1149, art. 3(1), Sch. 1 para. 104(3) (subject to art. 1(3))

F6Words in s. 150(8)(b)(i) substituted (10.3.2008, 2.6.2008, 8.12.2008, 23.2.2009 and 14.12.2009 for certain purposes, otherwise 22.2.2010) by Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 (asp 6), ss. 80, 84, Sch. para. 26(g); S.S.I. 2008/42, art. 3, Sch.; S.S.I. 2008/192, art. 3, Sch.; S.S.I. 2008/329, art. 3, Sch.; S.S.I. 2008/362, art. 3, Sch.; S.S.I. 2009/432, art. 3, Schs. 1, 2

F7Word in s. 150(8)(b)(ii) substituted (10.12.2007) by Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 (asp 6), ss. 15(a), 84; S.S.I. 2007/479, art. 3(1), Sch. (subject to art. 6) (as amended by S.S. I. 2007/527)

F8Words in s. 150(9) substituted (10.12.2007) by Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007 (asp 6), ss. 15(b), 84; S.S.I. 2007/479, art. 3(1), Sch. (subject to art. 6) (as amended by S.S. I. 2007/527)

[F11150AProceedings in absence of accusedS

(1)Where the accused does not appear at a diet (apart from a diet fixed for the first calling of the case), the court—

(a)on the motion of the prosecutor or, in relation to sentencing, of its own accord; and

(b)if satisfied as to the matters specified in subsection (2) below,

may proceed to hear and dispose of the case in the absence of the accused in like manner as if the accused were present.

(2)The matters referred in subsection (1)(b) above are—

(a)that citation of the accused has been effected or the accused has received other intimation of the diet; and

(b)that it is in the interests of justice to proceed as mentioned in subsection (1) above.

(3)In subsection (1) above, the reference to proceeding to hear and dispose of the case includes, in relation to a trial diet, proceeding with the trial.

(4)Where the court is considering whether to proceed in pursuance of subsection (1) above, it shall—

(a)if satisfied that there is a solicitor with authority to act—

(i)for the purposes of representing the accused's interests at the hearing on whether to proceed that way; and

(ii)if it proceeds that way, for the purposes of representing the accused's further interests at the diet (including, in relation to a trial diet, presenting a defence at the trial),

allow that solicitor to act for those purposes; or

(b)if there is no such solicitor, at its own hand appoint a solicitor to act for those purposes if it considers that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

(5)It is the duty of a solicitor appointed under subsection (4)(b) above to act in the best interests of the accused.

(6)In all other respects, a solicitor so appointed has, and may be made subject to, the same obligations and has, and may be given, the same authority as if engaged by the accused; and any employment of and instructions given to counsel by the solicitor shall proceed and be treated accordingly.

(7)Where the court is satisfied that—

(a)a solicitor allowed to act under subsection (4)(a) above no longer has authority to act; or

(b)a solicitor appointed under subsection (4)(b) above is no longer able to act in the best interests of the accused,

the court may relieve that solicitor and appoint another solicitor for the purposes referred to in subsection (4) above.

(8)Subsections (4)(b) and (7) above do not apply in the case of proceedings—

(a)in respect of a sexual offence to which section 288C of this Act applies;

[F12(aa)in respect of an offence to which section 288DC of this Act applies;]

(b)in respect of which section 288E of this Act applies; or

(c)in which an order has been made under section 288F(2) of this Act.

(9)Reference in this section to a solicitor appointed under subsection (4)(b) above includes reference to a solicitor appointed under subsection (7) above.

(10)Where the court proceeds in pursuance of subsection (1) above, it shall not in the absence of the accused pronounce a sentence of imprisonment or detention.

(11)Nothing in this section prevents—

(a)a warrant being granted at any stage of proceedings for the apprehension of the accused;

(b)a case subsequently being adjourned (in particular, with a view to having the accused present at any proceedings).]

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