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First hearing 12/4 - expected to be dealt with by police caution - an ABH charge at arrest, was reduced to assault by battery at return to bail. My solicitor says that I can plead not guilty so their team can review, in detail, all of the file as they are unlikely to have a transcript of the police interview given to them at this first hearing (a plea hearing). I am minded to follow this advice although I do not know if I can be conditionally discharged on the day or if the Magistrates can be convinced to say ' this should be dealt with by caution'.
If I plead 'not guilty' I am being advised that the legal team can then liaise with the CPS and try to work toward a caution before the trial, or even an NFA. I am cognisant that this will reduce the discount but given the relatively low level of the offence (my first encounter with the police ever - I am by the way 46 and a business man), the sentence, though inconvenient, is likely to be of low consequence.