Criminal Procedure Act, 1967

Procedure where accused pleads guilty in District Court to indictable offence.

[1951, ss. 3, 4].

13.—(1) This section applies to all indictable offences except the following—an offence under the Treason Act, 1939 , murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy to murder, piracy or a grave breach such as is referred to in section 3 (1) (i) of the Geneva Conventions Act, 1962 , including an offence by an accessory before or after the fact.

(2) If at any time the District Court ascertains that a person charged with an offence to which this section applies wishes to plead guilty and the Court is satisfied that he understands the nature of the offence and the facts alleged, the Court may—

(a) with the consent of the Attorney General, deal with the offence summarily, in which case the accused shall be liable to the penalties provided for by subsection (3), or

(b) if the accused signs a plea of guilty, send him forward for sentence with that plea to a court to which, if he had pleaded not guilty, he could lawfully have been sent forward for trial.

(3) (a) On conviction by the District Court for an offence dealt with summarily under subsection (2) (a), the accused shall be liable to a fine not exceeding £100 or, at the discretion of the Court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(b) In the case, however, of an offence under section 11 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1926 , the District Court shall not impose a fine exceeding £10 or a term of imprisonment exceeding one month.

(4) (a) Where a person is sent forward for sentence under this section he may withdraw his written plea and plead not guilty to the charge.

(b) In that event, the court shall enter a plea of not guilty, which shall have the same operation and effect in all respects as an order of a justice of the District Court sending the accused forward for trial to that court on that charge, and the Attorney General shall cause to be served on him any documents required to be supplied to the accused and not already served.

(5) This section shall not affect the jurisdiction of the Court under section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1951 .