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Shaie Zindel
Shaie Zindel, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1246
Experience:  All areas of commercial and contract Law - specialist in property advice.
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I have been summoned to court on assualt and trespass charges

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I have been summoned to court on assualt and trespass charges which I want to defend myself. What is the procedure - do I submit my evidence before the courit appearance or will I be given a change to state my case in court?
When you appear at COurt the Magistrate will put the charges to you and ask whether you require representation - at this point please be 100% certain you want to conduct your own defence! If you still do then you insist on self representation. The Magistrate will put the charges to you and ask you to plead. You plead not guilty and then you can either remain silent and let the State try and prove its case - if it can - or you can offer a plea explanation which is a way you try to limit the issues - so for example if you were trespassing because you thought you saw someone breaking into your neighbours house - so you jumped over the wall and tried to do a citizens arrest when the alleged perpetrator then started hitting you so you hit back and wrestled them to the floor. Only when the police arrived did you see it was the neighbours husband who was drunk and forgot his keys so he wasn't a burglar at all but you made a simple honest mistake. Either way - the state has to ptove its case - you don't have to help them. They will call their witnesses one by one and ask them questions - make notes and then you get to cross examine them either to prove they are lying or making mistakes. Once the state has finished calling witnesses you can apply for an acquittal if there is no case to answer or you must call your own witnesses or get into the witness box yourself to tell your story at which point the prosecutor can cross examine you. Once all the evidence is led then the state argues why you are guilty and you get a chance to argue why you arent guilty. Then the magistrate will make a decision and either find you not guilty and release you or find you guilty in which case the State must argue for sentence and you must give the Court good reasons why you should receive the lightest sentence. I hope this helps and wish you luck - please remember to rate my service so far. Regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you!

It's a pleasure - I hope it all works out for you! If you're happy with my service, please go ahead and give me a rating. Regards
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