Introduction - Simplified order
The simplified criminal procedure where fine or assessment is imposed on the defendant based on the papers without a trial is referred to as the simplified process. The trial held in this process is called the simplified order. The simplified procedure is important because, while it expedites the criminal trial, it also simultaneously lessens the psychological and social stress on the defendant that entails public hearings.
The application for simplified order
The cases that are subject to simplified order are those that implicate fines, assessments or seizure. The simplified orders are requested by the prosecutor simultaneously with the filing of the indictment.
Handing of simplified cases
If the prosecutor applies for a simplified order, the judge issues a simplified order upon reviewing the record. However, if the simplified order is not deemed appropriate because the case involves a serious crime or requires a careful
deliberation through a trial, the judge may put the matter up for a trial.
If the judge issues a simplified order a copy of the simplified order must be forwarded to the defendant and if the simplified order is confirmed, then (after 7 days from the service) the simplified order has the same force as a confirmed decision.
Requesting formal trial
Request for formal trial is when a person who wants to appeal against a simplified order requests the court to re-deliberate the case through a normal trial procedure. Prosecutor, defendant and any one who is legally permitted to file an
appeal in the defendant’s behalf (e.g., spouse, lineal relations, siblings of the defendant and the agent or defense counsel in the original decision).
The request has to be made within 7 days from the date of receipt of the simplified order to the court that rendered the simplified order, in writing. In the formal trial requested by the defendant, the court may not impose a penalty that is heavier than the simplified order.
Application to recover the right to request formal trial
Even if the simplified order was technically confirmed because of the defendant’s failure to request a formal trial within 7 days of the notice of the simplified order, if the person who was eligible to request a formal trial could not do so because
of reasons not attributable to himself/herself or to an agent, an application may be filed to recover the right to request formal trial.
When filing this application, the application to recover the right to request formal trial along with the request for formal trial must be drafted and submitted to the court. When the right to request formal trial is recovered, a new case number is issued and the relevant panel of judges try the case pursuant to the formal trial procedure.