What will happen at your first hearing in Court?
- When you are first required to attend in Court to answer to the charge, the charge (and the particulars of the criminal offence that was allegedly committed by you) will be formally read and explained to you in Court in the language which you understand and by an interpreter if necessary.
- The charge will contain the essential and basic details of the alleged offence such as the date, time, location, offending criminal act or conduct in question, value of property involved and identity of the victim.
- If you are accused of having committed and are charged for more than one offence, each offence will be stated in a separate charge.
- If any other person is accused of having committed the offence together with you, he may be charged together with you for the same offence and a separate charge may be preferred against him.
- You will need to inform the Court of the course of action you wish to you take, namely either of the following:
- Plead guilty (i.e. you wish to admit to the charge and accept that you will be punished for the offence)
- Claim trial (i.e. you wish to deny that you committed the offence as alleged and you wish to prove your innocence or provide your defence at a trial in Court)
- It is not compulsory for you to plead guilty to the charge at your first appearance in Court as you are entitled to request for an adjournment of the case to decide on your next course of action.