This Practice Note explains special reasons for the purposes of sections 34(1) and 44(2) of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (RTOA 1988), that is, as mitigation in respect of motoring offences. It explains special reasons (such as emergency or laced drinks) as the basis for avoiding an obligatory disqualification or obligatory endorsement of a driving license (penalty points) or reducing a disqualification from driving period. It covers why they amount to mitigating grounds or extenuating circumstances when sentencing for driving offences (but not a defence). It explains that, even where special reasons are found, disqualification or penalty points (license endorsement) remain at the discretion of the court. The procedure for arguing special reasons and the practical benefits of doing so are included in the Practice Note. Practical examples of special reasons are provided along with the questions which the court will ask.
This Practice Note explains the procedural requirements and practical issues which need to be satisfied when dealing with witness evidence in criminal prosecutions in England and Wales. It covers the procedural requirements contained in the Criminal Procedure Rules (CrimPR), the sequence of questioning lay witnesses, examination-in-chief, refreshing the witness’ memory, dealing with previous inconsistent statements, hostile witnesses and the cross-examination and re-examination of witnesses. It also considers tendering a prosecution witness for cross-examination by the accused and an application for a witness summons in respect of a reluctant witness under section 2 of the Criminal Procedure (Attendance of Witnesses) Act 1965.
This Checklist summarises the steps which need to be taken to obtain a witness summons requiring the attendance of a witness at a criminal trial in England and Wales and includes a link to the required witness summons application form in accordance with the Part 17 of the Criminal Procedure Rules 2020, SI 2020/759 (CrimPR).
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