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3.12.3 - Charge: Alternative Charges on the Indictment

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In this case, charges [insert principal charge] and [insert alternative charge] relate to the same alleged event, and are alternatives. The prosecution does not suggest that the accused should be convicted of both of these charges, but of one or the other.

When you are delivering your verdict[s], you will first be asked for your verdict on [insert principal offence], which is the more serious charge.[1] If you reach a verdict of guilty in relation to that charge, you will not be asked for a verdict on [insert alternative charge].

It is only if you unanimously reach a verdict of not guilty in relation to [insert principal offence] that you will be asked to deliver a verdict on [insert alternative charge].

I remind you that the accused is entitled to a separate trial of each charge, and that you must not reach your verdict by compromising between them.


[1] This charge is based on the assumption that the charges are of differing gravity. If the charges are of the same gravity, it will need to be modified accordingly.

Last updated: 27 March 2013

See Also

3.12 - Taking Verdicts

3.12.1 - Charge: Taking a Unanimous Verdict

3.12.2 - Charge: Taking a Majority Verdict

3.12.4 - Charge: Alternative Charges Not on the Indictment