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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 69268
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have been charged by the CPS with a S20 without intent

Customer Question

I have been charged by the CPS with a S20 without intent assault on my wife. At the time my wife and I were pulling at the same glass, when I went to tilt the glass for the wine to pour on her when jerking the glass. She then yanked at the glass and it hit her face causing two cuts that required a few stitches, which were removed after 5 days. I immediately called the Emergency Services as I was worried about her injury. I said I don't know what happended, either my wife has pulled the glass or my arm has over-reached. I too was injured with an contusion to my eye ball which prevented me from seeing correctly for several days, and whilst in police custody. And was taken to hospital by the police.Like a previous poster, I too have had my case management hearing, where I entered 'no plea at this time' and the District Judge presiding has said the case will be summarily tried in the Magistrates Court. The Judge said something about recommending S47, but I have been instructed by the Magistrates' Court of the date to return to Court which refers to S20 without intent.Both my wife and I maintain it was an accident, and both gave no comment interviews on legal advice, but the CPS have taken the decision to prosecute. Furthermore, I understand that my wife intends to complain to the CPS about their decision, is feeling harassed by the Vic***** *****aison Unit repeatedly calling her and she has informed them they have made a terrible mistake, as she does not see this as an assault and there is no complainant. She has visited a doctor as this is causing her severe distress. She has previously suffered from depression and self-harm.I am desperately worried for both of us, and particularly her mental health. I have instructed a solicitor who is awaiting information. What I do not understand is the nature of the injury does not seem to tally with any definition of 'very serious injury' I found on the CPS guidance, and the fact that I did not act maliciously as neither of us had any foresight that there was any risk of an injury.
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: United Kingdom
JA: What action has been taken so far? What's your ideal outcome?
Customer: Initial hearing, referred to Magistrates' Court for summary trial. The CPS seem to be prosecuting against both my and my wife's wishes. There was never a complaint made, and this action is causing both of us extreme harm. I have been informed she intends to make a complain to the CPS with a doctor's report, as they are contravening a section in the Public Test to consider the impact of 'the victim', which my wife has stated she is not. And both of us were injured.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thank you.
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

What would you like to know about this please?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
What is the likelihood of being found guilty? I have never had a criminal conviction, or been involved in crime.
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
in this situation, what is the likely sentence. I know the Magistrate can only give a single 6 month custodial sentence, but is there a high liklihood that I would go to prison for an incident both parties maintain was accidental, regardless of the CPS prosecuting? Both my wife and I will be separated for 6 weeks before the trial, and I understand she is very distressed at the CPS decision, as am I. Can the CPS review their decision to charge if it is harming my wife's mental health?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

It is not really possible to say in this forum. I haven't had vision of the evidence properly.

Also, it depends on the fact finder.

I really do hope you haven't agreed to trial by Magistrates?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

If you have then the chances of conviction are much higher.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

If this is a S20 assault then custody is likely even on a first offence.

The Magistrates will just commit it to the Crown Court for sentence.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

I wouldn't worry about your wife. You are the one facing the charge and you will probably find that actually, despite what she has told you, she has said something incriminating to somebody.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

I really seriously wouldn't suggest she complains. That will just rack up their interest in you several times over.

Also, aren't you on bail with conditions of non contact?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
If it likely to be referred to the Crown Court is that solely for sentencing or for trial?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

Well, it depends.

I would have told you to elect for trial.

If you haven't then it will just be for sentence.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
I was informed from my father in law. I have not contacted nor passed any messages indirectly to her. And surely, their interest has already been satisfied by their prosecuting.
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
May I ask, are you based in the UK?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

Yes, I'm in the UK.

Be careful about having contact with your father in law. If you get him to speak to her then that is making indirect contact.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

Their interest is nothing like satisfied.

They will almost certainly summons her if she tries to withdraw and, if she annoys them by complaining, they might well pick her up on a witness warrant.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

They don't like complaints and they can make life very uncomfortable for people who make them.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
In what way uncomfortable?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

They will almost certainly summons her if she tries to withdraw and, if she annoys them by complaining, they might well pick her up on a witness warrant.

Also, there are innumberable ways of taking revenge.

Generally speaking complaints do have consequences. Even if they are upheld the inevitable consequence is that you create a motivation for people to want to take revenge.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
You are insinuating that the CPS will take revenge? Despite me disagreeing with their decision, I very much doubt that. I am ending this conversation.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 20 days ago.

Ok. Good luck

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