What happens in a Pre-Trial Conference in a Criminal Case?
If you’re involved in a Criminal case in Court and you’ve chosen to claim trial and challenge or contest the charges against you, the Court will schedule the case for a Pre-Trial Conference (PTC). The purpose of the PTC is to prepare you and the Prosecution for trial and to settle any administrative matters before the trial date is scheduled.
How should you prepare for the Pre-Trial Conference?
Before the Pre-Trial Conference takes place, you should think through whether you want to deal with the following matters during the PTC:
- Check if the Prosecution plans to rely on the written interview statement recorded from you by the police during the investigations – the Prosecution will be using this statement, you can ask for a copy of the statement.
- Inform the Court of the number of witnesses that you want to call to testify in support of your defence at the trial.
- If you do not speak English well and need an interpreter translator for yourself or your witnesses, you should inform the Judge that you would need the assistance of an interpreter for the trial.
The Judge can also ask you for an indication of the legal defence that you plan to rely on, so it’s important and useful for you to think about this before attending the Pre-Trial Conference.
What can you expect to take place during the Pre-Trial Conference?
The purpose of the Pre-Trial Conference is to check whether the case is ready for trial. You and any other persons facing the same charges must attend this PTC together with the Prosecution, who will be represented either by prosecuting office e.g. Deputy public Prosecutor (also called a DPP). At this conference, the Judge will be informed of the nature of the evidence that will be presented by you and by the Prosecution. The witnesses whom each side plans to call to testify will also be made known. Once all the administrative matters have been sorted out, the Judge will then schedule the dates for the trial.
So, there you’ve it, some basic information on: What happens in a Pre-Trial Conference in a Criminal Case