Criminal Procedure Code Act


Published: 1969-04-02

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Criminal Procedure Code Act
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE [CH.91 – 1





LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE
CHAPTER 91

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE
LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES

1 – 2 LRO 1/2010 73 – 80 LRO 1/2008
3 – 6 Original 81 – 92 Original
7 – 8 LRO 1/2006 93 – 96 LRO 1/2010
9 – 10 LRO 1/2010 97 – 100 LRO 1/2006
11 – 12 LRO 1/2002 101 – 106 Original
13 – 20 Original 107 – 108 LRO 1/2006
21 – 24 LRO 1/2006 109 – 116 Original
25 – 40 Original 117 – 118 LRO 1/2006
41 – 42 LRO 1/2006 119 – 120 Original
43 – 72 Original 121 – 122 LRO 1/2010


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS


PART I
PRELIMINARY


SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Inquiry into and trial of offences.


PART II

POWER OF COURTS

4. General power to try offences.
5. Cases in which jurisdiction is specifically conferred by certain laws.
6. Sentences which the Supreme Court may pass.
7. Sentences which magistrates’ court may pass.
8. Combination of sentences.
9. Sentences in cases of conviction of several offences.
10. Sentencing guidelines.


PART III

GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO ARREST,
RECOGNISANCES AND SURETIES

11. Arrest.
12. Search of place entered by person sought to be arrested.
13. Power to break out of house or other place for purpose of liberation.
14. No unnecessary restraint.
15. Search of arrested persons.
16. Mode of searching women.

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17. Power to seize offensive weapons.
18. Disposal of persons arrested without warrant by peace officer.
19. Detention of accused persons during investigations.
20. Arrest by person other than peace officer.
21. Offence committed in presence of magistrate.
22. Recapture of person escaping.
23. Particulars to be contained in recognisances.
24. Notice of recognisances.
25. Proof of sufficiency.
26. Estreating recognisances conditioned for appearance.
27. Estreating recognisances conditioned for keeping the peace or doing

some act or thing.
28. Payment of sums forfeited.
29. Rules as to securities.
30. How forfeited security is to be realised in the case of a surety.
31. How forfeited security given by a principal on conviction to be recovered.
32. Surety may recover as civil debt from principal any sum paid under

security.
33. Securities to be realised before other steps are taken.
34. Recognisance taken out of court.


PART IV

GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO CRIMINAL
INVESTIGATIONS AND PROCEEDINGS


35. Authority of Supreme Court and magistrates’ court and general validity

of judicial processes.
36. Powers of Supreme Court in certain cases.
37. Place and dates of sessions of the Supreme Court.
38. Ordinary place of inquiry or trial by magistrate’s court.
39. Accused person may be sent to the district in which offence alleged to

have been committed.
40. Removal of accused persons under warrant.
41. Trial or inquiry at place where act done or where consequences of

offence ensue.
42. Trial or inquiry where offence is connected with another offence.
43. Trial or inquiry where place of offence is uncertain.
44. Offence committed on a journey.
45. Supreme Court to decide in cases of doubt.
46. Court to be open.
47. Hearing in camera.
48. Transfer of complaint to another magistrate’s court.
49. Procedure when a magistrate considers that he ought not to hear a case

brought before him.
50. Transfer of complaint.
51. Power of a judge to order transfer of proceedings.
52. Power of Attorney-General to enter nolle prosequi.
53. Notice of nolle prosequi to be given by Registrar.
54. Delegation of powers by Attorney-General.
55. Authority to conduct prosecutions on behalf of the Crown, etc.
56. Ultimate control of conduct of all prosecutions vested in Attorney-General.
57. Conduct of private prosecutions.
58. Complaint and charge.
59. Issue of summons or warrant.

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CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE
60. Form, validity and execution of warrants of arrest.
61. Court may direct security to be taken.
62. Procedure when arrest is made out of district.
63. Service of summons.
64. Service on company.
65. Proof of service of summons.
66. Special procedure in respect of certain offences.
67. If summons disobeyed, warrant may issue.
68. Power to take bond for appearance.
69. Court may order prisoner to be brought before it.
70. Search warrants.
71. Execution of search warrants.
72. Retention and disposal of property seized under search warrant.
73. Offence to be specified in charge or information.
74. Joinder of counts in charge or information.
75. Joinder of two or more accused in one charge or information.
76. Rules for the framing of charges and information.
77. Persons convicted or acquitted not to be tried again for same offence.
78. A person may be tried again for separate offence.
79. Consequences supervening or not known at time of former trial.
80. Where original court was not competent to try subsequent charge.
81. Proof of previous conviction.
82. Summons for witness.
83. Warrant for witness who disobeys summons.
84. Warrant for witness in first instance.
85. Mode of dealing with witness arrested under warrant.
86. Power of court to order prisoner to be brought up for examination.
87. Penalty for non-attendance of witness.
88. Power to summon material witness or examine person present.
89. Evidence to be given on oath.
90. Refractory witness.
91. Calling of husband or wife as witness.
92. Issue of commission for examination of witness.
93. Parties may examine witnesses.
94. Return of commission.
95. Adjournment of trial or inquiry.
96. Competency of witnesses in criminal cases.
97. Procedure where person charged is the only witness called.
98. Right of reply.
99. Court to inquire into suspected incapacity of accused.
100. Procedure when accused found insane during proceedings.
101. Defence of lunacy at preliminary investigation.
102. Resumption of proceedings if accused ceases to be incapable.
103. Prima facie evidence of accused may be given by certificate.
104. Provisions relating to the taking of evidence.
105. Recording of evidence.
106. Mode of delivering judgment.


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107. Magistrate may deliver judgment prepared by predecessor.
108. Contents of judgment in summary trial.
109. Accused person entitled to copy of judgment on application.
110. Costs in criminal cases.
111. Order of magistrate for payment for costs appealable.
112. Property found on accused person.
113. Restitution of stolen property after conviction.
114. Conviction in case of variance between evidence and offence charged.
115. Accused persons entitled to be present at trial and may be represented

by legal practitioner.


PART V
PROVISIONS RELATING TO PRELIMINARY INQUIRIES

INCLUDING THE USE OF EXPERT DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
THEREAT AND IN OTHER CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS


116. Power to commit for trial.
117. Court to hold preliminary inquiry.
118. Magistrate to read charge to accused and explain purpose of the

proceedings.
119. Taking of depositions.
120. Admission or evidence of certain reports and plans.
121. Variance between evidence and charge.
122. Remand.
123. Provisions as to taking statements or evidence of accused persons.
124. Evidence and address of defence.
125. Discharge of accused persons.
126. Summary adjudication in certain cases.
127. Committal for trial.
128. Complainant and witnesses to be bound over.
129. Refusal to be bound over.
130. Accused person entitled to copy of depositions.
131. Binding over of witnesses conditionally.
132. Deposition of witness who is ill or about to leave The Bahamas.
133. Notice to be given.
134. Magistrate to deal with the deposition like any other deposition.
135. Such deposition to be admissible in evidence.
136. Accused to have same privileges as prosecutor under section 135.
137. Transmission of records to Supreme Court and Attorney-General.
138. Power for the Attorney- General to refer case back to magistrate for

further preliminary inquiry.
139. Power for the Attorney-General to refer back case to be dealt with

summarily.
140. Further provisions as to referring back of case.
141. Mode of trial upon committal to the Supreme Court and preferment of

information.
142. Notice of trial.
143. Service of copy of information and notice of trial.
144. Postponement of trial.

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PART VI
PROCEDURE IN TRIALS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT


145. Practice of Supreme Court in the exercise of its criminal jurisdiction.
146. Bench warrant where accused does not appear.
147. Bringing up prisoner for trial.
148. Arraignment of accused.
149. Objection to information on grounds of insufficiency of particulars.
150. Amendment of information, separate trial and postponement of trial.
151. Quashing of information.
152. Charge of previous conviction.
153. Abolition of pleas in abatement.
154. Pleading to the information.
155. Refusal or incapacity to plead.
156. Proceedings when plea made.
157. Special pleas allowed to be pleaded.
158. General effect of pleas of autrefois acquit and convict.
159. Effect where previous offence charged was without aggravation.
160. Use of depositions, etc. on former trial, or trial of special plea.
161. Pleas of justification in case of libel.
162. Power to postpone or adjourn trial.
163. Procedure relating to jurors.
164. Case for the prosecution.
165. Giving prisoner in charge of the jury.
166. Additional witnesses for the prosecution.
167. Cross-examination of prosecution witnesses.
168. Depositions may be read in certain cases.
169. Statement of accused.
170. Close of case for prosecution.
171. Case for the defence.
172. Additional witnesses for the defence.
173. Notice of alibi.
174. When accused unrepresented calls no evidence.
175. Where accused adduces no evidence.
176. Order of speeches.
177. Court may require witness to be called.
178. Recalling a witness.
179. Summing up by the judge.
180. Consideration of verdict by jury.
181. Recording of verdict.
182. Verdict of not guilty.
183. Calling upon the accused.
184. Motion in arrest of judgment.
185. Evidence for arriving at proper sentence.
186. Sentence.
187. Recording of judgment.
188. Objections cured by verdict.
189. Time for raising objections.
190. Minute of proceedings in trial before Supreme Court.

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PART VII
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS RELATING TO PERSONS TRIED

BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT

191. Special verdict where accused found guilty, but insane at date of

offence charged.
192. Provision for custody of accused person found insane.
193. Expenses for the removal abroad of lunatic convicts.
194. Counsel for defence to be assigned in certain cases.


PART VIII

PROCEDURE IN TRIALS BEFORE MAGISTRATES’ COURTS

195. Non-appearance of complainant at trial.
196. Non-appearance of defendant at trial.
197. When neither party appears.
198. Courts to have the same powers at adjourned hearing as at first hearing.
199. Appearance of both parties.
200. If accused pleads guilty.
201. Pleas in other cases.
202. Procedure after plea of not guilty.
203. Acquittal of accused person if no case to answer.
204. The defence.
205. Evidence in reply.
206. Opening and closing of cases for prosecution and defence.
207. General provisions with respect to evidence in magistrates’ courts.
208. Amendment of charge and variance between charge and evidence.
209. The decision of the court.
210. Drawing up conviction.
211. Acquittal of accused person to bar further proceedings.
212. Magistrate to conform with sections 210 and 211.
213. Limitation of time for proceedings for summary offences.
214. Procedure in case where accused person has right to trial by Supreme

Court.
215. Power of magistrate in cases triable both summarily and on information.
216. Special procedure in minor cases where the charge is admitted.
217. Where court awards imprisonment without option of fine, prisoner shall

be committed to prison.
218. Committal to Supreme Court for sentences in certain cases.
219. Issue of distress warrant in respect of unpaid fine.
220. When distress warrant issued magistrate may allow defendant to go at

large or detain him, unless defendant gives security for his
reappearance.

221. Where return is nulla bona magistrate may commit the defendant.
222. Defendant who pays after commitment to be discharged on payment.
223. Powers of magistrate when imposing a fine.
224. On default of payment of instalment process to issue for the whole.
225. Mode of payment by instalments.


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226. Magistrate may postpone issue of warrant of distress or commitment.
227. Power of magistrate to order attachment of debts due to person

sentenced to pay a fine.
228. Return of proceedings.
229. Power of Supreme Court on revision.
230. Withdrawal of complaint.


PART IX

APPEALS FROM MAGISTRATES’ COURTS AND CASES STATED

231. Appeals from decisions of magistrates’ courts.
232. Magistrate to inform accused person of right of appeal.
233. Limitations on right of appeal.
234. Courts to which appeals lie.
235. Appeal to operate as a stay.
236. Repealed.
237. Transmission of appeal papers.
238. Admission of appellant to bail.
239. Case stated.
240. When magistrate refuses to state case.
241. Duty of magistrates’ court as to case stated.
242. Appellant entitled to copies of evidence.
243. Registrar to set appeal down for argument.
244. Appeal not a re-hearing unless the court so directs.
245. Procedure on hearing of appeal on motion.
246. Court on hearing appeal on motion to decide on facts as well as law.
247. On appeal by stated case court confined to facts and evidence stated

therein.
248. Powers of court on hearing appeals.
249. Costs.
250. Where appeal is abandoned court may give respondent his costs.
251. No appeal on point of form or matter of variance.
252. Court may decide on merits notwithstanding any defect in form.
253. Defect in order or warrant of commitment not to render void.
254. Where conviction confirmed warrant may issue as though no appeal had

been made.
255. Notice to be given to parties in case of appeal to be heard by circuit

justice.


PART X
PROCEDURE FOR INDICTMENT OF OFFENDERS


256. Proceedings for indictment of offenders.
257. Certain requirements to be fulfilled.
258. Voluntary bill of indictment.
259. Provisions of Code to similarly apply to bills of indictment.



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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

PART XI
SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS


260. Proceedings in wrong place.
261. Powers of Supreme Court in respect of habeas corpus.
262. Copies of proceedings.
263. Code not to affect proceedings in juvenile courts.
264. Security for keeping the peace.
265. Order to be made.
266. Inquiry as to truth of information.
267. Order to give security.
268. Discharge of person informed against.
269. Magistrate’s court may try summarily charge of escape.
270. Seizure of property obtained by offence.
271. Rules.
272. Anonymity of complainants in rape, etc., cases.

FIRST SCHEDULE.
SECOND SCHEDULE — Rules for Framing Charges and Informations.
THIRD SCHEDULE — Indictable Offences Triable Summarily.


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LRO 1/2010 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 91

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE
An Act to make provisions for the procedure to be

followed in criminal cases and for matters incidental
thereto.

[Assent 31st December, 1968]
[Commencement 2nd April, 1969]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1. This Act (hereinafter referred to as this Code)
may be cited as the Criminal Procedure Code Act.

2. In this Code unless the context otherwise
requires —

“Chief Magistrate” means the person appointed as
such under the provisions of the Magistrates
Act;

“committed for trial” means committed for trial
before the Supreme Court;

“committing court” means the magistrate’s court
which in any particular case has committed an
accused person for trial;

“complaint” means an allegation that some person,
known or unknown, has committed an offence;

“counsel” means any legal practitioner instructed to
represent any party in proceedings before a
court;

“court” means the Supreme Court or a magistrate’s
court, as the context may require;

“Court of Appeal” means the court established under
the provisions of Article 98 of the Constitution
and exercising jurisdiction in accordance with
the Court of Appeal Act;

38 of 1968; 25 of
1971; 32 of
1971;
15 of 1974;
E.L.A.O., 1974
2 of 1977; 12 of
1984; 2 of 1987;
2 of 1989; S.I.
75/1989; 6 of
1990; 11 of
1990;
9 of 1991; 9 of
1992; S.I.
65/1992; 18 of
1994; 20 of
1994;
21 of 1994; 8 of
1995; 4 of 1996;
15 of 1996; 25 of
1996; 33 of
1996;
1 of 2000; 10 of
2000; 16 of
2000;
S.I. 130/2002;
21 of 2004;
6 of 2006; 29 of
2008; 31 of 2008

Short title.

Interpretation.

Ch. 54.

Ch. 52.

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“district” has the meaning given to that term in the
Magistrates Act;

“indictable offence” means save as is provided by
section 214 any offence which is triable only on
information before the Supreme Court;

“justice of the peace” means any person appointed as
such under the Magistrates Act;

“legal practitioner” means any person admitted and
enrolled as counsel and attorney under the
provisions of the Legal Profession Act;

“licensed pharmacist” means a person licensed under
the provisions of the Pharmacy Act;

“magistrate” has the meaning given to that term in
the Magistrates Act and in relation to any
proceedings in a magistrate’s court means the
magistrate for the time being presiding over
such court;

“magistrate’s court” means a court presided over by a
magistrate exercising jurisdiction in accordance
with the provisions of the Magistrates Act;

“police officer” means any member of the Royal
Bahamas Police Force constituted by the Police
Act;

“preliminary inquiry” or “preliminary investigation”
means an inquiry or investigation into a
criminal charge conducted by a magistrate,
under the provisions of this Code, with a view
to the committal of an accused person for trial
before the Supreme Court;

“private prosecution” means a prosecution instituted
and conducted by any person other than a
person appearing on behalf of the Crown, the
Commissioner of Police, any department of the
Government of The Bahamas or any Minister or
public officer instituting or conducting
proceedings in his official capacity;

“Registrar” means the Registrar of the Supreme
Court or any person performing the duties of
Registrar, at any particular trial, in accordance
with the directions of the presiding judge;

Ch. 54.

18 of 1994, s. 2.

Ch. 54.

Ch. 64.

Ch. 227.


Ch. 54.

Ch. 54.

Ch. 205.

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“registered medical practitioner” means a person
registered under the provision of the Medical
Act;

“stipendiary and circuit magistrate” means any
person appointed as such under the provisions
of the Magistrates Act.

3. Subject to the express provisions of any other
law for the time being in force, all offences under any law
shall be inquired into, tried and otherwise dealt with
according to the provisions hereafter in this Code
contained.

PART II
POWER OF COURTS

4. Subject to the express provisions of this Code
and of any other law —

(a) the Supreme Court may try any offence; and
(b) a magistrate’s court may try any offence in

respect of which jurisdiction is expressly
conferred upon such court, or upon such court
when presided over by a particular grade of
magistrate, by the Magistrates Act or any other
law for the time being in force.

5. (1) Any offence under any law for the time
being in force, when any court is mentioned in that behalf
in such law, shall be tried by such court unless removed to
any other court for trial under any provisions of this Code.
For the purposes of this subsection a provision in any law
for an offence to be tried summarily shall be construed as a
reference to the trial of such offence by a magistrate’s
court.

(2) When no court is mentioned in the manner
referred to in subsection (1) of this section in respect of any
offence, such offence shall be tried in accordance with this
Code.

6. The Supreme Court may pass any sentence
authorised by law to be inflicted in respect of the offence
for which it is imposed.

Ch. 224.

Ch. 54.

Inquiry into and
trial of offences.

General power to
try offences.

Ch. 54.

Cases in which
jurisdiction is
specifically
conferred by
certain laws.

Sentences which
the Supreme
Court may pass.

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7. (1) A magistrate’s court may pass any sentence
authorised by law to be inflicted in respect of the offence
for which it is imposed when that offence is tried by a
magistrate’s court.

1(2) When a magistrate’s court presided over by the
Chief Magistrate or by a stipendiary and circuit magistrate
is exercising the jurisdiction conferred by section 214 of
this Code, to try summarily certain cases which are also
triable upon information, the court shall have power, where
warranted by law, to pass a sentence of imprisonment not
exceeding five years and to impose a fine not exceeding
ten thousand dollars upon any person convicted by the
court exercising such jurisdiction and shall have and may
exercise all other powers vested in the Supreme Court by
sections 119 to 124 (inclusive) of the Penal Code.

8. Any court may pass any lawful sentence
combining any of the sentences which it is authorised by
law to pass.

9. (1) When a person is convicted at one trial of
two or more distinct offences, the court may sentence him
for such offences to the several punishments prescribed
therefor which such court is competent to impose. Subject
to the provisions hereafter in this section contained, a court
imposing imprisonment on any person for an offence may
order that such imprisonment shall commence on the
expiration of any other term of imprisonment imposed, by
that court or any other court, for any other offence.

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of
this section, the aggregate of the terms of any consecutive
sentences of imprisonment so imposed by a magistrate’s
court —


1 The following saving (18 of 1994, section 10) affects the substitution of this

subsection —
“10. Nothing in section 3 or 4 of this Act shall thereby render a person liable, for an
offence committed prior to the coming into operation of those sections, to any penalty
greater than that which could have been imposed upon him had those sections not come
into operation.”

Sentences which
magistrates’
court may pass.

S.I. 75/1989,
Sch.;
18 of 1994, s. 3;
10 of 2000, s. 2.

Ch. 84.

Combination of
sentences.

Sentences in
cases of
conviction of
several offences.

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(a) when the court is presided over by the Chief
Magistrate or a stipendiary and circuit
magistrate, exercising the jurisdiction conferred
by section 214 of this Code, shall not exceed2
five years; and

(b) in any other case, shall not exceed six months.
(3) The limitations imposed by subsection (2) of

this section shall not operate to reduce the aggregate of the
terms of imprisonment which a magistrate’s court may
impose in respect of any offences below the terms which
that court has power to impose in respect of any one of
these offences.

(4) When a person has been sentenced by a
magistrate’s court to imprisonment and a fine for the same
offence, a period of imprisonment for non-payment of the
fine, or for want of sufficient distress to satisfy the fine,
shall not be subject to the limitations imposed by
subsection (2) of this section, and any such imprisonment
for non-payment of a fine may be ordered by the court to
commence at the end of any other term of imprisonment.

10. (1) A magistrate’s court in passing any sentence
in respect of any offence referred to in Part I of the Third
Schedule or any offence referred to in the Fourth Schedule
shall comply with any sentencing guidelines issued by the
Chief Justice.

(2) Where a magistrate’s court in passing a sentence
in respect of any offence referred to in Part I of the Third
Schedule or any offence referred to in the Fourth Schedule
does not comply with the sentencing guidelines mentioned
in subsection (1) that court shall state in writing and open
court why such guidelines were not followed.

(3) The Governor-General may by Order amend the
Fourth Schedule.


2 The following saving (18 of 1994, section 10) affects the amendment of this

paragraph —
“10. Nothing in section 3 or 4 of this Act shall thereby render a person liable, for an
offence committed prior to the coming into operation of those sections, to any penalty
greater than that which could have been imposed upon him had those sections not come
into operation.”


18 of 1994, s. 4.

Sentencing
guidelines.
1 of 2000, s. 2.

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PART III
GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO ARREST,

RECOGNISANCES AND SURETIES
11. (1) In making an arrest the peace officer or other

person making the same shall actually touch or confine the
body of the person to be arrested, unless there be a
submission to the custody by word or action.

(2) If the person to be arrested forcibly resists the
endeavour to arrest him or attempts to evade the arrest, the
peace officer or other person concerned may use all means
necessary to effect the arrest:

Provided that nothing in this section contained shall
be deemed to justify the use of greater force than was
reasonable in the particular circumstances in which it was
employed or was necessary for the apprehension of the
offender.

12. (1) If any person acting under a warrant of
arrest, or any peace officer having other authority to arrest,
has reason to believe that the person to be arrested has
entered into or is within any place, the person residing in or
being in charge of such place shall, on demand of such
person acting as aforesaid or such peace officer, allow him
free ingress thereto and afford all reasonable facilities for a
search therein.

(2) If ingress to such place cannot be obtained under
the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, it shall be
lawful in any case for a person acting under a warrant and,
in any other case in which a warrant may issue but cannot
be obtained without affording the person to be arrested an
opportunity to escape, for a peace officer to enter such
place and search therein and, in order to effect an entrance
into such place, to break open any outer or inner door or
window in any house or place, whether that of the person
to be arrested or of any other person, or otherwise effect
entry into such house or place, if, after notification of his
authority and purpose and demand of admittance duly
made, or there is no person present to whom he can make
such demand, he cannot otherwise obtain admittance.

Arrest.

Search of place
entered by person
sought to be
arrested.

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13. Any peace officer or other person authorised to
make an arrest may break out of any house or other place
in order to liberate himself or any other person who, having
lawfully entered for the purpose of making an arrest, is
detained therein.

14. A person arrested shall not be subjected to more
restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape.

15. (1) Subject to the provisions of section 16 of this
Code, whenever a person is arrested by a peace officer or a
private person, the peace officer making the arrest or to
whom the private person makes over the person arrested
may search such person and place in safe custody all
articles other than necessary wearing apparel found upon
him:

Provided that whenever the person arrested can be
legally admitted to bail and bail is furnished, such person
shall not be searched unless there are reasonable grounds
for believing that he has about his person any —

(a) stolen article; or
(b) instrument of violence or offensive weapon; or
(c) tool connected with the kind of offence which he

is alleged to have committed; or
(d) other article which may furnish evidence against

him in regard to the offence which he is alleged
to have committed.

(2) The right to search an arrested person shall be
exercised with strict regard to decency.

(3) Where any property has been taken from a
person under this section and such person is not charged
before any court but is released on the grounds that there is
not sufficient reason to believe that he has committed any
offence, any property taken from him under the provisions
of this section shall forthwith be restored to him.

(4) An arrested person shall be furnished with a
receipt for any property which has been taken from him
under this section, and the receipt shall specify that
property.

Power to break
out of house or
other place for
purpose of
liberation.

No unnecessary
restraint.

Search of
arrested persons.

CH.91 – 16] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

16. Whenever it is necessary to cause a woman to
be searched, the search shall be made by another woman,
who need not be a police officer, and with strict regard to
decency.

17. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 15 of
this Code, the peace officer or other person making an
arrest may take from the person arrested any offensive
weapon or instrument of violence which he has about his
person, and shall deliver all articles so taken to the court or
officer before which or whom the peace officer or person
making the arrest is required by law to produce the person
arrested.

18. A peace officer making an arrest without a
warrant, in exercise of any powers conferred upon him by
the Penal Code, the Police Act or any other law for the
time being in force, shall, without unnecessary delay and
not later than forty-eight hours after such arrest, take or
send the person arrested before a magistrate appointed to
preside in a magistrate’s court having jurisdiction in the
case, unless the person arrested be earlier released on bail
by a police officer having power in that behalf under the
provisions of section 32 of the Police Act.

19. (1) Notwithstanding section 18 or any other
law, a police officer of at least the rank of inspector may
make an ex parte application to a magistrate, to have any
person arrested for any offence specified under the First
Schedule to the Bail Act detained for a further period not
exceeding forty-eight hours where the inquiry into that
offence is incomplete and where the police officer —

(a) has to secure or preserve evidence relating to the
offence;

(b) has reasonable grounds for believing that the
person arrested will interfere with or harm the
evidence connected with the offence or interfere
with or cause physical injury to other persons;

(c) has reasonable grounds for believing that the
persons arrested will alert other persons
suspected of also having committed the offence
who have yet to be arrested; or

(d) has reasonable grounds for believing that the
person arrested will hinder the recovery of any
property obtained as a result of the offence.

Mode of
searching
women.

Power to seize
offensive
weapons.

Disposal of
persons arrested
without warrant
by peace officer.
Ch. 84.
Ch. 205.

Ch. 205.

Detention of
accused persons
during
investigations.

1 of 2000, s. 3.
Ch. 103.

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(2) Subject to subsection (1), where further
detention is authorised the person arrested —

(a) shall be told the reason for such further
detention; and

(b) the reason shall be noted on his custody record.
20. (1) Any person may arrest without a warrant a

person who in his view commits a felony, or whom he
reasonably suspects of having committed a felony provided
that a felony has been committed. Any peace officer and
any other person whom he may call to his assistance may
also arrest without a warrant any person in the
circumstances provided for in paragraphs (a) to (e) of
subsection (1) of section 104 of the Penal Code.

(2) The owner of any property, or his servants or
other persons authorised by him, may arrest without a
warrant any person found in the act of committing an
offence involving injury to such property.

(3) Any person arresting a person under the powers
conferred by subsection (1) or (2) of this section, or under
any powers under any law conferring powers of arrest upon
persons other than a peace officer, shall without
unnecessary delay make over the person so arrested to a
peace officer or bring him before a magistrate.

(4) If any arrested person referred to in this section
is brought before a peace officer and the peace officer is
satisfied that there are grounds to suppose that he has
committed an offence for which he may be arrested
without a warrant, he shall re-arrest him, or if there is
reason to believe that he has committed another offence, he
shall be dealt with as if he had committed such other
offence in the view of the peace officer concerned. Any
person re-arrested by a peace officer under the provisions
of this section shall thereafter be dealt with in accordance
with the provisions of section 18 of this Code.

21. When any offence for which a person may be
arrested, whether with or without a warrant, is committed
in the presence of a magistrate, he may himself arrest or
order any person to arrest the offender and may thereupon
commit the offender, unless released on bail, to custody.
Any order of a magistrate given under the provisions of
this section, whether or not in writing, shall have the same
force and effect as a warrant of arrest directed to the person
required to carry out such order.

Arrest by person
other than peace
officer.

Ch. 84.

Offence
committed in
presence of
magistrate.

CH.91 – 18] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

22. If a person in lawful custody escapes or is
rescued, the person from whose custody he escapes or is
rescued may immediately pursue and arrest him in any
place in The Bahamas and may require any peace officer to
assist him in so doing, and the provisions of sections 12
and 13 of this Code shall apply to action taken under the
provisions of this section although such action is not taken
under the authority of a warrant.

23. (1) Every recognisance shall specify the
profession or calling of the person entering into or
acknowledging the same together with his Christian name
and surname and the name of his place of residence, and,
when duly acknowledged, shall be subscribed by the
magistrate or other authorised person before whom it is
acknowledged, and it shall be conditioned —

(a) in the case of an accused person, that he will
duly appear at the time and place of trial or of
adjourned hearing and not depart the court
without leave;

(b) in the case of a prosecutor or witness, that he
will duly appear at the time and place of the trial
of the accused, and then and there prosecute or
give evidence or prosecute and give evidence, as
the case may be, at the trial of the person
accused;

(c) in the case of recognisance to keep the peace or
to be of good behaviour and in any other case, in
such manner as the magistrate shall direct.

(2) The provisions of this section shall be in
addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of
sections 32 and 33 of the Police Act with respect to
recognisances taken by police officers in certain cases.

24. A written notice of any recognisance signed by a
magistrate, a police officer acting under any powers
conferred by the Police Act, or any other person authorised
in that behalf under the provisions of section 34 of this
Code shall at the time of signature be given to the person
bound thereby.

25. A magistrate may, in his discretion, require any
person entering into recognisances, whether as a surety or
otherwise, to justify as to his sufficiency upon oath or by
such evidence as the magistrate may require.

Recapture of
person escaping.

Particulars to be
contained in
recognisances.

Ch. 205.

Notice of
recognisances.

Proof of
sufficiency.

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26. Where a recognisance is conditioned for the
appearance of a person before a court or for his doing some
other matter or thing to be done before a court, the court, if
such recognisance is shown to be liable to be forfeited,
may declare the same to be forfeited and enforce payment
of the sum due thereunder in the same manner as the
payment of a fine may be enforced which has been
imposed on conviction by such court:

Provided that, at any time before the sale of goods
under a warrant of distress for the said sum, the said court
may cancel or mitigate the forfeiture upon the person liable
applying and giving security, to the satisfaction of the
court, for the future performance of the conditions of his
recognisance and paying or giving security for the payment
of the costs incurred in respect of the forfeiture or upon
such other conditions as the court may think just.

27. Where a recognisance conditioned to keep the
peace or be of good behaviour or not to do or commit some
act or thing has been entered into by any person as
principal or surety before a court, such court, or any other
court having jurisdiction in the matter, upon proof of the
conviction of the person bound as principal by such
recognisance of any offence which is in law a breach of
such condition of the same, may adjudge such
recognisance to be forfeited and adjudge any person bound
thereby, whether as principal or surety, to pay the sum for
which he is so bound.

28. All sums payable in respect of a recognisance
declared or adjudged by a court to be forfeited shall be paid
to the clerk of such court or to such other officer as the
court may direct, and shall be paid and applied in the
manner in which fines imposed by a court are payable and
applicable.

29. A person shall give security under this Code
whether as principal or surety, either by the deposit of
money with the clerk or other proper officer of the court, or
by an oral or written acknowledgement of the undertaking
or condition by which and of the sum for which he is
bound, in such manner and form as for the time being may
be directed by any rule made under this Code, and
evidence of such security may be provided by entry thereof
in the record of proceedings of such court or otherwise as
may be directed by any such rule.

Estreating
recognisances
conditioned for
appearance.

Estreating
recognisances
conditioned for
keeping the peace
or doing some
act or thing.

Payment of sums
forfeited.

Rules as to
securities.

CH.91 – 20] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

30. Any sum which may become due from a surety
in pursuance of a security in respect of a breach of a
recognisance, shall be recoverable summarily as a civil
debt on summons by a peace officer or by some other
person authorised for the purpose by a court.

31. A court may enforce the payment of any sum
due from a principal in pursuance of a security in respect of
a recognisance which appears to such court to be forfeited
in the same manner as the payment of a fine may be
enforced which has been imposed on conviction by such
court if the security was given for a sum adjudged upon
conviction, and in any other case in like manner as if it
were a sum adjudged to be paid as a civil debt:

Provided that, before a warrant of distress for the
sum is issued, such notice of the forfeiture shall be served
on the said principal in such manner as may be directed for
the time being by rules under this Code and subject thereto
by the court authorising security or by any magistrate’s
court to which application is made for the issue of the
warrant.

32. Any sum paid by a surety on behalf of his
principal in respect of a security under this Code, together
with all costs, charges and expenses incurred by such
surety in respect of such security, shall be deemed a civil
debt due to him from the principal and may be recovered
before a magistrate’s court in manner applicable to the
recovery of a civil debt which is recoverable summarily.

33. Where security is given in respect of a
recognisance for payment of a sum of money, the payment
of such sum shall be enforced by means of such security
before resort is had to other means of enforcing such
payment.

34. When a court has fixed, as respects any recognisance, the
amount in which the principal and the sureties (if any) are to be bound,
the recognisance, notwithstanding anything in this or any other law, need
not be entered into before such court but may, subject to any rules made
in pursuance of this Code, be entered into by the parties before any
magistrate, clerk or registrar of any court or before the Commissioner of
Police in New Providence or any peace officer in charge of any police
station in any Out Island, or, where any of the parties is in prison, before
the keeper of such prison. Where a recognisance has been

How forfeited
security given by
a principal on
conviction to be
recovered.

How forfeited
security is to be
realised in the
case of a surety.

Surety may
recover as civil
debt from
principal any
sum paid under
security.

Securities to be
realised before
other steps are
taken.

Recognisance
taken out of
court.

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entered into for the due appearance of the principal at any
court, and such person duly appears in accordance with the
conditions in such recognisance, the bail may be renewed
by any peace officer in the said court, if the judge or
registrar or magistrate be not present, and thereupon all the
consequences of law shall ensue, and the provisions of this
Code with respect to recognisances taken before a court
shall apply as if the recognisances had been entered into
before a magistrate or a judge.

PART IV
GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO CRIMINAL

INVESTIGATIONS AND PROCEEDINGS
35. (1) The Supreme Court and every magistrates’

court shall have authority to cause to be brought before it
any person who is within The Bahamas and who is charged
with an offence —

(a) committed within the limits of its jurisdiction; or
(b) which according to law may be inquired into or

tried as if it had been committed within its
jurisdiction,

and to deal with the accused person according to law and
subject to the jurisdiction of the court concerned.

(2) Any summons, warrant of arrest, search warrant
or other judicial process issued in due form under the
provisions of this Code by any court, judge or magistrate
shall be of full force and effect in any part of The Bahamas
without any requirement for further authentication, backing
or endorsement by any person before execution in any
district of The Bahamas other than that in which the same
is issued.

(3) In addition to the powers conferred upon a judge
by this Code or any other law, every judge shall be deemed
to have all the powers conferred by this Code upon any
magistrate to issue any summons, warrant of arrest, search
or other judicial process.

36. The Supreme Court may inquire into and try any
offence subject to its jurisdiction at any place where it has
power to hold sittings:

Authority of
Supreme Court
and magistrates’
court and general
validity of
judicial
processes.

Powers of
Supreme Court
in certain cases.

CH.91 – 22] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

Provided that no criminal case shall be brought under
the cognisance of the Supreme Court exercising its original
criminal jurisdiction unless the same shall have been
previously investigated by a magistrate’s court and the
accused person shall have been committed for trial before
the Supreme Court.

37. The Registrar of the Supreme Court shall give
notice of the date and place of trial of any criminal offence
by the Supreme Court to all persons required to attend
thereat in such manner as the Chief Justice may direct.

38. Subject to the provisions of this Code, every
offence shall be inquired into or tried by a magistrate’s
court having jurisdiction within the district in which the
offence was committed or within the jurisdiction of which
the accused was apprehended or is in custody in respect of
a charge for that offence or has appeared in answer to a
summons lawfully issued charging that offence.

39. When a person accused of having committed an
offence within The Bahamas has been removed from the
district within which the offence was committed and is
found within another district, the magistrate’s court within
the jurisdiction of which he is found may cause him to be
brought before it and shall, unless authorised to proceed
with the case, send him in custody to the magistrate’s court
having jurisdiction in the district in which the offence is
alleged to have been committed, or may require him to
give security for his surrender to that court there to answer
the charge and to be dealt with according to law.

40. Where any person is to be sent in custody in
pursuance of the last preceding section, a warrant shall be
issued by the magistrate’s court within the jurisdiction of
which he is found and that warrant shall be sufficient
authority to any person to whom it is directed to receive
and detain the person therein named and to carry him and
to deliver him up to the magistrate’s court having
jurisdiction in the district in which the offence is alleged to
have been committed or may be inquired into or tried. The
person to whom such warrant is directed shall execute it
according to its tenor without delay.

Place and dates
of sessions of the
Supreme Court.

15 of 1996, s. 78
and Second Sch.

Ordinary place of
inquiry or trial
by magistrate’s
court.

Accused person
may be sent to
the district in
which offence
alleged to have
been committed.

Removal of
accused persons
under warrant.

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41. When a person is accused of the commission of
any offence by reason of anything which has been done or
of any consequence which has ensued, such offence may
be inquired into or tried by a magistrate’s court having
jurisdiction in the district in which such thing was done or
in which any such consequence ensued.

42. When an act is an offence by reason of its
relation to any other act which is also an offence or which
would be an offence if the doer were capable of
committing an offence, a charge in respect of the first-
mentioned offence may be inquired into or tried by a
magistrate’s court having jurisdiction in the district within
which either act was done.

43. When it is uncertain in which of several districts
an offence was committed, or —

(a) when an offence is committed partly in one
district and partly in another; or

(b) when an offence is a continuing one and
continues to be committed in more than one
district; or

(c) when it consists of several acts done in different
districts,

it may be inquired into or tried by a magistrate’s court
having jurisdiction in any of such districts.

44. An offence committed whilst the offender is in
the course of performing a journey may be inquired into or
tried by a magistrate’s court having jurisdiction in any
district through which the offender, or the person or thing
in respect of which the offence was committed, passed in
the course of that journey or voyage.

45. Whenever any doubt arises as to the court by
which any offence should be inquired into or tried, any
court entertaining such doubt may, in its discretion, report
the circumstances to the Supreme Court and the Supreme
Court shall decide by which court such offence shall be
inquired into or tried.

46. The place in which any court sits for the purpose
of trying any offence shall be deemed to be an open court
to which the public generally may have access, so far as
the same can conveniently contain them:

Trial or inquiry
where offence is
connected with
another offence.

Trial or inquiry
at place where
act done or
where
consequences of
offence ensue.

Trial or inquiry
where place of
offence is
uncertain.

Offence
committed on a
journey.

Supreme Court
to decide in cases
of doubt.

Court to be open.

CH.91 – 24] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

Provided that the presiding judge or magistrate may,
at any stage of the trial of any offence before the court,
order that the public generally or any particular person
shall not have access to or remain in the room or building
when the trial is being conducted if it appears to him to be
necessary for the due administration of justice or in the
interests of defence, public safety, public order or public
morality or for the welfare of persons under eighteen years
of age.

47. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other
law, at a preliminary inquiry into or trial of an offence
under sections 6 to 15 of the Sexual Offences and
Domestic Violence Act, 1991 the evidence of the person
upon whom the offence is alleged to have been committed
shall not be given in any court, except with the leave of the
court, in the presence of members of the public other than
bona fide representatives of the news media:

Provided that any person upon whom any such
offence is alleged to have been committed and the person
charged with the offence may each request the attendance
at court of any two persons during all stages of the
proceedings and thereupon the persons so requested to
attend shall be entitled to attend at the court at any stage of
the proceedings.

(2) The court shall not give leave in pursuance of
subsection (1) for any evidence except on an application
made to the court, in the absence of the jury (if any), by or
on behalf of the person charged with the offence; and on
such an application the court shall give leave if the court is
satisfied that neither public morality nor the due
administration of justice would be prejudiced thereby.

48. (1) If upon the hearing of any complaint it
appears that the cause of the complaint arose outside the
limits of the jurisdiction of the magistrate’s court before
which such complaint has been brought, that court, upon
being satisfied that the case is one which under the
provisions of this Code ought to be inquired into or tried by
another court, may direct that the case be transferred to the
court before which such complaint ought to be inquired
into or tried.

Hearing in
camera.
9 of 1991, s. 38
and Sch.

Transfer of
complaint to
another
magistrate’s
court.

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(2) If, in a case to which the provisions of subsection
(1) of this section applies, the accused person is in custody
and the court directing such transfer considers it expedient
that such custody should be continued, or, if he is not in
custody, that he should be placed in custody, the court shall
direct the offender to be taken by a peace officer before the
court to which such complaint is transferred, and shall give a
warrant for that purpose to such officer and shall deliver to
him the complaint and the recognisances (if any) taken by
such court to be delivered to the court before which the
accused person is to be taken; and such complaint and
recognisances (if any) shall be treated to all intents and
purposes as if they had been made to and taken by such last-
mentioned court.

(3) If the accused person is not retained or placed in
custody as aforesaid, the court shall inform him that it has
directed the transfer of the case as aforesaid, and thereupon
the provisions of the preceding subsection respecting the
transmission and validity of the documents in the case shall
apply.

49. If, in the course of any inquiry or trial which has
commenced before a magistrate’s court, the evidence
appears to warrant a presumption that, although the court
has jurisdiction in the matter, the case is one which for any
sufficient particular reason should be tried or committed
for trial by some other magistrate, the presiding magistrate
shall stay the proceedings and submit the case with a brief
report thereon to the Chief Justice.

50. The Chief Magistrate may transfer any
complaint listed in a court in New Providence or Grand
Bahama presided over by a stipendiary and circuit
magistrate to any other court in New Providence or Grand
Bahama, as the case may be, presided over by a stipendiary
and circuit magistrate:

Provided that no such transfer shall be made where
the hearing of evidence on the complaint has already
begun.

Procedure when
a magistrate
considers that he
ought not to hear
a case brought
before him.

Transfer of
complaint.
9 of 1992, s. 2.
25 of 1996, s. 2.

CH.91 – 26] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

51. (1) Whenever it is made to appear to a judge of
the Supreme Court that —

(a) a fair and impartial inquiry or trial cannot be
had, or might not appear to be had, in any
particular magistrate’s court or before some
particular magistrate; or

(b) some question of law of unusual difficulty is
likely to arise; or

(c) a view of the place in or near which any offence
has been committed may be required for the
satisfactory inquiry into or trial of the same; or

(d) an order under this section will tend to the
general convenience of the parties or witnesses;
or

(e) such an order is expedient for the ends of justice
or is required by any provisions of this Code,

he may order that any particular case or class of case be
transferred from a magistrate’s court to any other
magistrate’s court.

(2) A judge may act under the provisions of this
section on the report of the lower court made to the Chief
Justice under section 49 of this Code or on the application
of any party interested or on his own initiative.

(3) Any application by an interested party for the
exercise of the power conferred by this section shall be
made by motion, which shall be supported by affidavit.

(4) Any accused person making any such
application shall give to the Attorney-General notice in
writing of the application, together with a copy of the
grounds on which it is made; and no order shall be made
on the merits of such application unless at least twenty-four
hours have elapsed between the giving of such notice and
the hearing of the application unless the Attorney-General
has informed the Supreme Court in writing either that he
supports the application or that he does not desire to
oppose it.

52. In any proceedings against any person, and at any
stage thereof before verdict or judgment, as the case may be,
the Attorney-General may enter a nolle prosequi, either by
stating in court or by informing the court in writing that

Power of a judge
to order transfer
of proceedings.

Power of
Attorney-
General to enter
nolle prosequi.

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the Crown intends that the proceedings, whether
undertaken by himself or by any other person or authority,
shall not continue, and thereupon the accused person shall
be at once discharged in respect of the charge for which the
nolle prosequi is entered, and, if he has been committed to
prison, shall be released, or, if on bail, his recognisances
shall be discharged; but such discharge of an accused
person shall not operate as a bar to any subsequent
proceedings against him on account of the same facts.

53. If the accused person is not before the court
when a nolle prosequi is entered in his case, the Registrar
or the clerk of the court shall forthwith cause notice in
writing of the entry of such nolle prosequi to be given to
the officer in charge of the prison in which such accused
person may be detained and also, if the accused person has
been committed for trial, to the magistrate’s court by which
he was so committed, and such magistrate’s court shall
forthwith cause a similar notice in writing to be given to
any person bound over to prosecute and to any witnesses
bound over to give evidence and to their sureties (if any)
and also to the accused and his sureties in case he shall
have been admitted to bail.

54. The Attorney-General may, subject to any
special or general instructions which the Attorney-General
may give in any case or class of cases, authorise any legal
officer subordinate to him —

(a) to institute and undertake criminal proceedings
against any person in any court in The Bahamas
in respect of any offence; and

(b) to exercise any powers conferred upon the
Attorney-General by any provision of this Code:

Provided that the Attorney-General may himself, at
any time, and at any stage in any proceedings, exercise any
power conferred upon him by any provisions of this Code,
notwithstanding any authority given by him to any other
officer under the provisions of this section, and may at any
time revoke any such authority.

Notice of nolle
prosequi to be
given by
Registrar.

Delegation of
powers by
Attorney-
General.
E.L.A.O., 1974.

CH.91 – 28] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

55. (1) The Attorney-General and any legal
practitioner instructed for the purpose by the Attorney-
General, may appear to prosecute on behalf of the Crown
or the Commissioner of Police or any public officer, public
authority or department of Government in any criminal
proceedings before any court.

(2) Subject to such directions as may be given by
the Attorney-General from time to time, any police officer
may conduct proceedings in a magistrate’s court on behalf
of the Crown or the Commissioner of Police, and any such
police officer may appear and conduct the prosecution
notwithstanding that he is not the officer who made the
complaint or charge in respect of which such proceedings
arose.

(3) The Attorney-General may by writing authorise
any public officer to conduct prosecutions in a magistrate’s
court in respect of particular matters or categories of
offences or matters or offences relating to the activities or
functions of a particular Ministry or department of the
Government.

56. Notwithstanding any power conferred upon any
person by or under the provisions of section 54 or 55 of
this Code, to institute or conduct any criminal proceedings,
any such person shall at all times in respect thereof be
subject to the directions of the Attorney-General who may
in any case himself institute or conduct any criminal
proceedings or may take over and continue, or direct any
legal officer subordinate to him to take over and continue
in accordance with his instructions, any criminal
proceedings instituted or undertaken by any such person as
aforesaid or by any other person acting as or on behalf of a
private prosecutor.

57. Any person conducting a private prosecution
may do so in person or may be represented by a legal
practitioner instructed by him in that behalf.

58. (1) Criminal proceedings may be instituted
either by the making of a complaint or by the bringing
before a magistrate of a person who has been arrested
without a warrant.

Authority to
conduct
prosecutions on
behalf of the
Crown, etc.
18 of 1994, s. 5.

Ultimate control
of conduct of all
prosecutions
vested in
Attorney-
General.

Conduct of
private
prosecutions.

Complaint and
charge.

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(2) Any person, who believes from a reasonable and
probable cause that an offence has been committed by any
person, may make a complaint thereof to a magistrate
appointed to preside over a magistrate’s court having
jurisdiction in the matter.

(3) A complaint may be made orally or in writing,
but if made orally shall be reduced to writing by the
magistrate, and in either case shall be signed by the
complainant and the magistrate:

Provided that where proceedings are instituted by a
peace officer or other public officer acting in the course of
his duty, a formal charge duly signed by such officer may
be presented to the magistrate and shall for the purposes of
this Code be deemed to be a complaint.

(4) A magistrate, upon receiving any such
complaint, shall, unless such complaint has been laid in the
form of a formal charge in accordance with the preceding
section, draw up or cause to be drawn up and shall sign a
formal charge containing a statement of the offence with
which the accused is charged.

(5) When an accused person who has been arrested
without a warrant is brought before a magistrate, a formal
charge containing a statement of the offence with which
the accused is charged shall be signed and presented by the
peace officer preferring the charge.

(6) Every complaint shall be for one matter only,
but the complainant may lay one or more complaints
against the same person at the same time and the court
hearing any one of such complaints may deal with one or
more of the complaints together or separately as the
interests of justice appear to require.

3(7) A complaint laid by or in the name of the
Commissioner of Police and signed by the Commissioner
of Police or any peace officer shall be deemed to be in
conformity with the foregoing provisions of this section.

59. (1) Upon receiving a complaint and the charge
having been signed in accordance with the provisions of
section 58 of this Code, a magistrate may, in his discretion,
issue either a summons or a warrant to compel the


3 In terms of section 1(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Act, 1987,

this subsection is deemed to have come into operation on 2nd April, 1969.

2 of 1987, s. 2.

Issue of
summons or
warrant.

CH.91 – 30] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

attendance of the accused person before a magistrate’s
court having jurisdiction to inquire into or try the offence
alleged to have been committed:

Provided that a warrant shall not be issued in the first
instance unless the complaint has been supported by an
oath, either by the complainant or by a witness.

(2) A magistrate shall not refuse to issue a summons
under the provisions of this section unless he shall be of the
opinion that the application for a summons is frivolous or
vexatious or an abuse of the process of the court and if, in
his discretion, he refuses to issue a summons, the person
applying for the same may require the magistrate to give
him a written certificate of refusal and may apply to the
Supreme Court for an order directing such magistrate to
issue the summons sought or such other summons as the
Supreme Court may direct.

(3) No warrant or summons shall be held to be
invalid by reason only that the magistrate who issued the
same has died or ceased to hold office or has otherwise
ceased to act in the matter and any other magistrate
assigned to the court may take such proceedings as may be
necessary to enforce the said warrant or to hear and
determine the complaint in respect of which the summons
was issued.

60. (1) Every warrant of arrest may be issued at any
time on any day, and shall be under the hand and seal of
the magistrate by whom it is issued and directed to the
peace officer in charge of the place in which the act
complained of has been committed or in which the person
to be apprehended is believed to be and to all other peace
officers of The Bahamas.

(2) Every warrant shall state shortly the offence
with which the person against whom it is issued is charged,
or other reason for the arrest, and shall name or otherwise
describe such person and shall order the peace officers to
whom it is directed to bring such person before the court
issuing the warrant, or before some other court having
jurisdiction in the case, to answer to the charge therein
mentioned or to be further or otherwise dealt with
according to law. Any such warrant may be executed by
any one or more peace officers, and shall not be made
returnable at any particular time but shall remain in force

9 of 1992, s. 3.

Form, validity
and execution of
warrants of
arrest.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

until executed or cancelled by the magistrate issuing the
same or by order of a court having jurisdiction in the
matter.

(3) Upon being satisfied that it is necessary so to do
in order that the person in respect of whom a warrant of
arrest is issued may be conveniently and speedily
apprehended, the magistrate issuing the warrant may, at the
same time or subsequently, issue one or more duplicate
warrants and any such duplicate warrant shall be of the
same force and effect as the original.

61. (1) When a warrant is issued for the arrest of any
person for any offence other than a charge in respect of an
offence of murder or treason, it may, in the discretion of
the magistrate issuing the same, be directed by
endorsement on the warrant that, if such person executes a
bond with sufficient sureties for his attendance before the
court at a specified time and thereafter until otherwise
directed by the court, the officer to whom the warrant is
directed shall take such security and shall release such
person from custody.

(2) The endorsement shall state —
(a) the number of sureties;
(b) the amount in which they and the person for

whose arrest the warrant is issued are to be
respectively bound; and

(c) the time and place at which he is to attend before
the court.

(3) Whenever security is taken under this section
the officer to whom the warrant is directed shall forward
the bond to the court.

62. When a person has been arrested under a
warrant the person apprehending him shall take him before
a magistrate in the district in which he is arrested and, if he
is arrested under a warrant issued in some other district,
such magistrate shall act in the case in accordance with the
provisions of section 40 of this Code.

63. Subject to the provisions of section 64 of this
Code every summons shall be served upon the person to
whom it is directed by a peace officer by delivering it to
him personally, or, if he cannot be found, by leaving it with
some adult inmate at his last or most usual place of abode,
or with his employer.

Court may direct
security to be
taken.

Procedure when
arrest is made
out of district.

Service of
summons.

6 of 1990, s. 3.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

64. Service of a summons on a body corporate may
be effected by serving it on the secretary, local manager or
other principal officer of the corporation, or by leaving it
addressed to the body corporate at its registered office in
The Bahamas.

65. The person who serves a summons shall
ordinarily attend before the court at the time and place
mentioned in the summons to depose, if necessary, to the
service thereof. If the person who serves a summons is for
any reason unable to attend the court as aforesaid, and in
any case in which such summons has been served outside
the local limits of the jurisdiction of the court issuing the
same, an affidavit purporting to be made before a
magistrate, justice of the peace or notary public that such
summons has been served shall be admissible in evidence,
and the statements made therein shall be deemed prima
facie to be correct and sufficient evidence of the facts
alleged unless and until the contrary is proved.

66. (1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in
this or any other Act where a peace officer finds any
person or has reason to believe that any person (hereinafter
in this section referred to as the “alleged offender”) is
committing or has committed in any place an offence
specified in Part I of the First Schedule, he may then and
there serve upon the alleged offender the prescribed notice
in writing charging him with the commission of the
offence.

(2) Without prejudice to subsection (3) the peace
officer shall at the time of such service notify the alleged
offender of his requirement to appear before a magistrate
on the date specified in connection with the charge and
also that he has the opportunity of having his appearance
before a magistrate waived and of having no conviction
recorded against him should he, the alleged offender, sign
the notice in the appropriate place in acknowledgement of
his guilt and return it to the magistrate’s clerk specified in
the notice together with the sum mentioned in the notice in
payment of the fixed penalty.

(3) Where under subsection (1) the peace officer
finds that the offence is being or has been committed and it
is an offence —

Service on
company.




Proof of service
of summons.


Special
procedure in
respect of certain
offences.
11 of 1990, s. 2.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(a) committed by reason of a vehicle obstructing the
road or waiting or being left or parked or being
unloaded or loaded in a road; or

(b) disclosed upon examination of such vehicle,
the officer may in lieu of serving personally the alleged
offender then and there with the prescribed notice effect in
the absence of the offender the service of the notice by
affixing it to the vehicle.

(4) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any
law the registered owner of such vehicle shall, for the
purposes of any criminal proceedings to be taken against
the alleged offender in a court of summary jurisdiction in
respect of an offence mentioned in the First Schedule
(hereinafter in this section referred to as “proceedings”) be
deemed to be the alleged offender served and liable for the
offence in respect of which service is effected in
accordance with subsection (3):

Provided that if at the hearing of those proceedings
the registered owner alleges that he was not the driver or
the person in charge of the vehicle at the time when the
alleged offence was committed, the court may cause a
summons to be issued to the person who is alleged by the
registered owner to have been the driver or the person in
charge making him a co-defendant in the proceedings and
the court may after hearing the evidence and witnesses, if
any, of all parties make such order as to the payment of any
fine and costs as to the court may seem just.

(5) A notice, if affixed to a vehicle under subsection
(3), shall not be removed or interfered with except by or
under the authority of the driver or person in charge of the
vehicle or the person liable for the offence in question; and
any person contravening this subsection is guilty of an
offence and liable to a fine of not less than five hundred
dollars and not exceeding one thousand five hundred
dollars.

(6) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any
law the alleged offender who signs the notice and pays the
fixed penalty before the expiration of seven days following
the date of the notice shall be treated for all purposes in
law as a person who has not committed or been charged
with or prosecuted for or convicted of or sentenced for the
offence in respect of which payment was made.

CH.91 – 34] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(7) Subject to subsection (10) where a person is
served a notice under subsection (1) or (3) in respect of an
offence no proceedings shall be taken against the alleged
offender for that offence until the end of seven days
following the date of the notice.

(8) Payment of the fixed penalty shall be made to
the clerk of the Magistrate’s Court specified in the notice
and the admission of guilt and the sum paid shall, subject
to subsection (6) be dealt with by the magistrate of that
court in the same manner as an adjudication by him in
court upon the admission of an offence punishable on
summary conviction and for which no conviction is
recorded.

(9) In any proceedings a certificate that payment of
the fixed penalty was or was not paid to the relevant
magistrate’s clerk by the date specified in the certificate
shall, if the certificate purports to be signed by the
magistrate’s clerk, be sufficient evidence of the facts stated
therein, unless the contrary is proved.

(10) For the purposes of this section “fixed penalty”
means the sum of seventy-five dollars or the minimum
amount sanctioned by the law constituting the respective
offence as a penalty for its commission, whichever is the
greater.

(11) In any proceedings for an offence to which
subsection (1) or (3) applies no reference shall be made
after the conviction of the alleged offender to the giving of
any notice under this section or to the payment or non-
payment of the fixed penalty unless in the course of the
proceedings or in some document which is before the
Court in connection with the proceedings reference has
been made by or on behalf of the alleged offender to the
giving of such a notice or as the case may be to such a
payment or non-payment.

(12) A notice issued to a person under subsection (1)
or (3) shall for the purposes of this Act or any other law be
deemed to be a summons issued to that person by the
magistrate or the magistrate’s court specified in the notice
for the appearance of that person in the event where he
does not sign the notice in acknowledgement of his guilt
and make payment of the fixed penalty.

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE [CH.91 – 35



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(13) Where pursuant to subsection (4) the registered
owner liable for the offence is a body corporate, the latter
in any proceedings may appear in court through a counsel
and attorney or a secretary or director or through a person
authorised in writing to do so by that body corporate.

(14) For the purposes of this section the prescribed
notice shall be in the form specified in Part II of the First
Schedule.

67. If a person served with a summons does not
appear at the time and place mentioned in the summons
and it is proved to the satisfaction of the court, either by the
evidence on oath of the person who served the summons or
by affidavit in accordance with the provisions of section 65
of this Code, that the summons was duly served within a
reasonable time before the date appointed for the
appearance of the person before the court, the court, after
taking such evidence on oath to substantiate the matter of
the complaint as it may in any particular case consider
necessary, may issue a warrant to apprehend the person so
summoned as aforesaid and to bring him before the court
to be dealt with according to law:

Provided that no warrant may be issued in a case in
which the summons is one in which the provisions of
section 66 of this Code apply and in which a written plea
of guilty has been entered and the penalty paid in
accordance with the provisions of that section:

And provided further that when the summons was
not served personally upon the person summoned, the court
shall not issue a warrant unless it is satisfied that the
summons has come to the attention of such person.

68. (1) Where any person for whose appearance or
arrest a court is empowered to issue a summons or warrant
is present in such court, the court may require such person
to execute a bond, with or without sureties, or make a
deposit of money in lieu thereof, for his appearance in such
court on such date as may be appointed.

(2) When any person who is bound by any bond
taken under the provision of this section, or under any
other provisions of this Code, to appear before a court, or
who has made a deposit of money in lieu of executing such
bond, does not so appear, the court may issue a warrant
directing that such person be arrested and brought before
the court.

If summons
disobeyed,
warrant may
issue.

Power to take
bond for
appearance.

CH.91 – 36] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

69. (1) Where any person for whose appearance or
arrest a court is empowered to issue a summons or warrant
is confined in any prison, the court may issue an order to
the officer in charge of such prison requiring him to bring
such prisoner in proper custody, at a time to be named in
the order, before such court.

(2) The officer to whom an order issued under the
provisions of subsection (1) of this section is directed, on
receipt of such order, shall act in accordance therewith, and
shall provide for the safe custody of the prisoner during his
absence from the prison for the purposes aforesaid and
shall thereafter return him to the prison unless otherwise
ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction, and such
prisoner shall for all purposes be deemed to be in lawful
custody during such absence.

70. (1) Where a magistrate is satisfied by evidence
on oath that there is reasonable cause to believe that any
property whatsoever on or with respect to which any
offence has been committed is in any place or places, he
may grant a warrant directed to any peace officer to enter
and search any such place or places in any part of The
Bahamas, by force if necessary, at any time of day or night.
If such property or any part thereof be found, such peace
officer shall bring the same and the person or persons in
whose possession such place or places then may be, or any
person in any such place reasonably suspected of being
privy to such property being therein, before the magistrate
appointed to preside over the court having jurisdiction in
the district in which such warrant was executed.

(2) For the purposes of this section “place” shall
include any building, ship, vehicle, aircraft, box, receptacle
or locality whatsoever in any part of The Bahamas as may
be specified in any search warrant.

(3) Every search warrant shall be issued under the
hand and seal of the magistrate issuing the same and may
be issued at any time and on any day and shall remain in
force until executed or cancelled by such magistrate or by
order of a court having jurisdiction in the matter.

Court may order
prisoner to be
brought before it.

Search warrants.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

71. (1) Whenever any building or other place liable
to search in accordance with the terms of a search warrant,
issued under the provision of section 70 of this Code, is
closed, any person residing in or being in charge of such
building or place shall, on demand of the peace officer
executing such warrant and on production to him of the
warrant, allow such peace officer free ingress thereto and
egress therefrom and afford all reasonable facilities for a
search therein.

(2) If ingress thereto or egress from such building or
other place cannot be obtained, the peace officer executing
the search warrant may proceed in the manner provided by
section 12 or 13 of this Code.

(3) Where any person in or about such building or
place is reasonably suspected of concealing about his
person any article for which search should be made, such
person may be searched. If such person is a woman the
provisions of section 16 of this Code shall be observed.

72. (1) When any thing is seized and brought before
a court in pursuance of power conferred by any search
warrant, it may be retained until the conclusion of the case
or investigation in respect of which its seizure was
authorised, reasonable care being taken for its preservation.

(2) If any appeal is made in such case or if any
person is committed for trial, any court concerned may
order any such thing to be retained further for the purpose
of such appeal or trial.

(3) If no appeal is made, or if no person is
committed for trial, the court shall direct such thing to be
restored to the person from whom it was taken, unless the
court is authorised and sees fit, or is required by law, to
dispose of it otherwise.

73. Every charge or information shall contain, and
shall be sufficient if it contains, a statement of the specific
offence or offences with which the accused is charged,
together with such particulars as may be necessary for
giving reasonable information as to the nature of the
offence alleged.

74. (1) Any offences, whether felonies or
misdemeanours, may be charged together in the same charge
or information if the offences charged are founded on the

Execution of
search warrants.

Retention and
disposal of
property seized
under search
warrant.

Offence to be
specified in
charge or
information.

Joinder of counts
in charge or
information.

CH.91 – 38] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

same facts or form or are part of a series of offences of the
same or a similar character.

(2) Where more than one offence is alleged in a
charge or information, a description of each offence so
charged shall be set out in a separate paragraph of the
charge or information called a count.

(3) Where, before trial or at any stage of a trial, the
court is of opinion that a person accused may be
embarrassed in his defence by reason of being charged
with more than one offence in the same charge or
information or that for any other reason it is desirable to
direct that the accused person be tried separately for any
one or more offences alleged in a charge or information,
the court may order a separate trial of any count or counts
of such charge or information.

75. (1) The following persons may be joined in one
charge or information and may be tried together —

(a) persons accused of the same offence committed
in the course of the same transaction;

(b) persons accused of an offence and persons
accused of abetment or of an attempt to commit
such offence;

(c) persons accused of different offences committed
in the course of the same transaction;

(d) persons accused of different offences all of
which are founded on the same facts or form, or
are part of a series of offences of the same or a
similar character:

Provided that where before trial, or at any stage of a
trial, the court is of opinion that a person accused may be
embarrassed in his defence by reason of his being tried
together with another person or other persons or that for
any other reason it is desirable to direct that the accused
person be tried separately, the court may order a separate
trial of such accused person.

4(2) Any number of charges involving one or more
accused persons may, if the charges consist of offences
which are founded on the same facts or which form or are
part of a series of offences of the same or a similar


4 The insertion of subsection (2) deemed to have come into operation on 2nd April,

1969 in terms of section 1 of Act 6 of 1990.

Joinder of two or
more accused in
one charge or
information.

6 of 1990, s. 3.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

character, be heard and determined together unless the
court, having regard to any representations made by or on
behalf of the prosecution or the accused person, or the
court on its own motion, otherwise determines in the
interests of justice.

76. (1) The provisions of the rules set out in the
Second Schedule to this Code apply with respect to all
charges and informations, and notwithstanding any rule of
law or practice to the contrary, a charge or information
shall not be open to objection in respect of its form or
contents if it is framed in accordance with those rules:

Provided that rules 1, 2 and 12 of the said rules shall
not apply to charges tried by magistrate’s courts and the
formal matters and commencement in case of charges tried
summarily shall be in conformity with the practice in use at
the date of commencement of this Code until any other
provision is made under any other law:

Provided further that the said rules, in relation to
their application to informations in the Supreme Court,
may be added to, varied or revoked by the Rules
Committee appointed under the Supreme Court Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of
subsection (1) of this section, no count shall be deemed
objectionable or insufficient on any of the following
grounds, namely that —

(a) it contains only one name of the accused;
(b) one name only or no name of the injured person

is stated;
(c) the name or identity of the owner of any

property is not stated;
(d) it charges an intent to defraud without naming or

describing the persons whom it was intended to
defraud;

(e) it does not set out any document which may be
the subject of the charge;

(f) it does not set out the words used where words
used are the subject of the charge;

(g) the means by which the offence was committed
is not stated;

Rules for the
framing of
charges and
information.
Second Schedule.

Ch. 53.

CH.91 – 40] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(h) the district in which the offence was committed
is not stated; or

(i) any person or thing is not described with
precision:

Provided that, if it appears to the court that the
interests of justice and the avoidance of prejudice to the
accused person so require, the court shall order that the
complainant or the prosecutor shall furnish particulars
further describing or specifying any of the foregoing
matters.

77. A person who has been once tried by a court of
competent jurisdiction for an offence and acquitted or
convicted of such offence, while such acquittal or
conviction has not been reversed or set aside, shall not be
liable to be tried again on the same facts for the same
offence.

78. A person acquitted or convicted of any offence
may afterwards be tried for any other offence with which
he might have been charged on the same facts and upon
which he could not have been convicted at the previous
trial.

79. A person convicted of an offence involving any
act causing consequences which together with such act
constitute a different offence from that for which such
person was convicted, may be afterwards tried for such
last-mentioned offence if such consequences had not
happened or were not known to the court to have happened
at the time when he was convicted.

80. Subject to the provisions of any other law for the
time being in force, a person acquitted or convicted of any
offence constituted by any acts may, notwithstanding such
acquittal or conviction, be subsequently charged with and
tried for any other offence constituted by the same acts
which he may have committed, if the court by which he
was first tried was not competent to try the offence with
which he is subsequently charged.

81. (1) In any inquiry or other proceeding under this
Code in which it becomes necessary to prove the previous
conviction of an accused person, a copy of the record of
the conviction for the offence on summary trial, or a

Persons
convicted or
acquitted not to
be tried again for
same offence.

A person may be
tried again for
separate offence.

Consequences
supervening or
not known at
time of former
trial.

Where original
court was not
competent to try
subsequent
charge.

Proof of previous
conviction.

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LRO 1/2006 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

certificate containing the substance and effect only
(omitting the formal part) of the information and
conviction upon trial upon information, purporting to be
signed by the officer having custody of the records of the
court where the offender was convicted, shall, upon proof
of the identity of the person, be sufficient prima facie
evidence of the said conviction without proof of the
signature or official character of the person appearing to
have signed such copy or certificate.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of
subsection (1) of this section, prima facie proof may be
given of a previous conviction in any place within or
without The Bahamas by the production of a certificate
purporting to be issued under the hand of a police officer in
the place where the conviction was had, containing a copy
of the sentence or order and the fingerprints, or
photographs of the fingerprints, of the person so convicted,
together with evidence that the fingerprints of the person so
convicted are those of the accused person.

82. If it is made to appear on the statement of the
complainant or of the defendant or otherwise, that material
evidence can be given by or is in the possession of any
person, a court having cognisance of any criminal cause or
matter concerned may issue a summons to such person
requiring his attendance before such court or requiring him
to bring and produce to such court for the purpose of
evidence all documents and writings in his possession or
power which may be specified or otherwise sufficiently
described in the summons.

83. If, without sufficient excuse, a witness does not
appear in obedience to a summons issued under the
provisions of section 82 of this Code, the court, on proof of
the proper service of the summons within a reasonable time
beforehand, may issue a warrant to bring him before the
court at such time and place as shall be therein specified.

84. If the court is satisfied by evidence on oath that
a person summoned as a witness will not attend unless
compelled to do so, such court may at once issue a warrant
for the arrest and production of the witness before the court
at a time and place to be therein specified.

Summons for
witness.

Warrant for
witness who
disobeys
summons.

Warrant for
witness in first
instance.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

85. When any witness is arrested under a warrant,
the court may, on his furnishing security, by recognisance
or deposit of cash to the satisfaction of the court, for his
appearance at the hearing of the case, order him to be
released from custody, or shall, on his failing to furnish
such security, order him to be detained in custody for
production at such hearing.

86. In any case in which a court requires to examine
as a witness in any proceedings before such court, a person
confined in any prison the procedure provided by section
69 of this Act shall be followed.

87. (1) Any person summoned to attend as a witness
who, without lawful excuse, fails to attend as required by
summons, or who, having attended, departs without having
obtained the permission of the court, or fails to attend after
adjournment of the court after being ordered to attend,
shall be liable by order of the court to a fine not exceeding
one hundred and fifty dollars.

(2) Such fine, if not previously paid, may be levied
by attachment and sale of any movable property belonging
to such witness within the local limits of the jurisdiction of
such court.

(3) In default of recovery of any such unpaid fine by
attachment and sale of goods, the witness may, by order of
the court, be imprisoned as a civil prisoner for a term of
fifteen days unless such fine is paid before the end of the
said term.

(4) For good cause shown, the Supreme Court may
remit or reduce any fine imposed under this section by a
magistrate’s court.

88. Any court may, at any stage of any inquiry, trial
or other proceedings under this Code, summon or call any
person as a witness, or recall and re-examine any person
already examined, and the court shall summon and
examine or recall and re-examine any such person if his
evidence appears to it essential to the just decision of the
case:

Provided that the prosecutor or the counsel for the
prosecution and the defendant or his counsel shall have the
right to cross-examine any such person, and the court shall

Mode of dealing
with witness
arrested under
warrant.

Power of court to
order prisoner to
be brought up for
examination.

Penalty for non-
attendance of
witness.

Power to
summon material
witness or
examine person
present.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

adjourn the case for such time (if any) as it thinks
necessary to enable such cross-examination to be
adequately prepared, if, in its opinion, either party may be
prejudiced by the calling of any such person as a witness.

89. Every witness in any criminal cause or matter
shall be examined upon oath or affirmation and the court
before which any witness shall appear shall have full
power and authority to administer the appropriate oath or
affirmation in accordance with the provisions of the
Evidence Act:

Provided that the court may at any time, if it thinks it
just and expedient (for reasons to be recorded in the
proceedings), take without oath the evidence of any person
declaring that the taking of any oath whatever is according
to his religious belief unlawful, or who by reason of
immature age or want of religious belief ought not, in the
opinion of the court, to be admitted to give evidence on
oath; the fact of the evidence having been so taken shall be
recorded in the proceedings.

90. (1) Whenever any person, appearing either in
obedience to a summons or by virtue of a warrant, or being
present in court and being orally required by the court to
give evidence —

(a) refuses to be sworn; or
(b) having been sworn, refuses to answer any

questions put to him; or
(c) refuses or neglects to produce any document or

thing which he is required to produce and which
is in his possession or under his control; or

(d) refuses to sign his deposition,
without in any such case offering any sufficient excuse for
such refusal or neglect, the court may adjourn the case for
any period not exceeding ten days, and may in the
meantime commit such person to prison, unless he sooner
consents to do what is required of him.

(2) If such person, upon being brought before the
court at or before such adjourned hearing, again refuses to
do what is required of him, the court may, if it sees fit,
again adjourn the case and commit him for the like period,
and so again from time to time until such person consents
to do what is so required of him.

Evidence to be
given on oath.

Ch. 65.

Refractory
witness.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(3) Nothing herein contained shall affect the
liability of any such person to any other punishment or
proceeding for refusing or neglecting to do what is so
required of him, or shall prevent the court from disposing
of the case in the meantime according to any other
sufficient evidence taken before it.

91. In any proceedings the wife or husband of the
accused person shall not be called as a witness without the
consent of the accused person except in the cases provided
in section 175 of the Evidence Act.

92. (1) Whenever in the course of any proceedings
under this Code, a court is satisfied that the examination of
a witness is necessary for the ends of justice, and that the
attendance of such witness cannot be procured without an
amount of delay, expense or inconvenience which, under
the circumstances of the case, would be unreasonable, the
court may with the consent of the parties issue a
commission to any magistrate’s court within the local
limits of whose jurisdiction such witness resides, to take
the evidence of such witness.

(2) The magistrate presiding over the court to which
the commission is issued shall proceed to the place where
the witness is or shall summon the witness before him, and
shall take down his evidence in the same manner, and may
for this purpose exercise the same powers, as in the case of
a trial or preliminary inquiry.

93. (1) The parties to any proceeding under this
Code in which a commission is issued may respectively
forward any interrogatories in writing which the court
directing the commission may think relevant to the issue,
and the magistrate to whom the commission is directed
shall examine the witness upon such interrogatories.

(2) Any such party may appear before such
magistrate by counsel or in person, and may examine,
cross-examine, and re-examine (as the case may be) the
said witness. If any such party is in custody the magistrate
shall give directions for such party to be present at the
examination of the witness and the provisions of section 69
of this Code shall apply as if such party were required to be
brought before the court.

Calling of
husband or wife
as witness.
4 of 1996, s. 180
and Sch.

Issue of
commission for
examination of
witness.

Ch. 65.

Parties may
examine
witnesses.

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94. (1) After any commission issued under section
92 of this Code has been duly executed it shall be returned,
together with the deposition of the witness examined
thereunder, to the Supreme Court or to the magistrate’s
court (as the case may be), and the commission, the return
thereto, and the deposition shall be open at all reasonable
times to inspection by the parties, and may, subject to all
just exceptions, be read in evidence in the case by either
party, and shall form part of the record.

(2) Any deposition so taken may also be received in
evidence at any subsequent stage of the case before another
court.

95. In every case in which a commission is issued
under section 90 of this Code the proceedings may be
adjourned for a specified time reasonably sufficient for the
execution and return of the commission.

96. Subject to the provisions of section 171 of the
Evidence Act and section 91 of this Code, in any criminal
proceedings, every person charged with an offence and the
husband or wife of the person charged, as the case may be,
shall be a competent witness for the defence at any stage of
the proceedings.

97. Where the only witness of the facts of the case
called by the defence is the person charged, he shall be
called as a witness immediately after the close of the
evidence for the prosecution.

98. In cases where the right of reply depends upon
the question whether evidence has been called for the
defence, the fact that the person charged has been called as
a witness shall not of itself confer on the prosecution the
right of reply.

99. Without prejudice to the provisions of sections
155 and 191 of this Code (relating to cases in which an
accused person on trial on information may be found to be
insane at the time of arraignment or to have been insane at
the date of the offence with which he is charged), when in
the course of any trial or preliminary inquiry the court has
reason to suspect that the accused person is of unsound
mind so that he is incapable of making his defence, the
court shall inquire into the fact of such unsoundness and

Return of
commission.

Adjournment of
trial or inquiry.

Competency of
witnesses in
criminal cases.
4 of 1996, s. 180
and Sch.

Procedure where
person charged is
the only witness
called.

Ch. 65.

Right of reply.

Court to inquire
into suspected
incapacity of
accused.

CH.91 – 46] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

for this purpose may receive evidence and may postpone
the proceedings and remand the accused person for a
medical report.

100. (1) If, in a case referred to in the preceding
section, the court finds that the accused person is of
unsound mind and incapable of making his defence, it shall
postpone further proceedings in this case.

(2) If the case is one in which bail may be taken, the
court may release the accused person on sufficient surety
being given that he will be properly taken care of and
prevented from doing injury to himself or to any other
person, and for his appearance, if called upon, before the
court or any officer of the court appointed in that behalf.

(3) If the case is one in which bail may not be taken
or if sufficient surety cannot be given or the court, for any
sufficient reason, considers that bail ought not to be
granted, the court shall report the matter to the Governor-
General who may order the accused person to be detained
in any hospital or other place appointed by any law for the
reception or custody of lunatics; and the Governor-General
may from time to time make such further order in the case
for the detention, treatment or otherwise of the accused as
the circumstances may require. Pending the order of the
Governor-General in any such case the court shall direct
that the accused person be remanded in custody.

101. When an accused person appears to be of sound
mind at the time of a preliminary investigation,
notwithstanding that it is alleged that, at the time when the
act was committed in respect of which the accused person
is charged, he was insane within the meaning of section 91
of the Penal Code, the court shall proceed with the case
and, if the accused person ought, in the opinion of the
court, to be committed for trial on information, the court
shall so commit him.

102. Whenever any preliminary investigation or trial
is postponed under the provisions of section 99 or 100 of
this Code, the court may at any time resume the
preliminary investigation or trial, unless the accused person
is detained in pursuance of an order by the Governor-
General given under the provisions of subsection (3) of
section 100, and require the accused to appear

Procedure when
accused found
insane during
proceedings.

Defence of
lunacy at
preliminary
investigation.

Resumption of
proceedings if
accused ceases to
be incapable.

Ch. 84.

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or be brought before such court, when, if the court finds
him capable of making his defence, the preliminary
investigation or trial shall proceed, but if the court
considers the accused person still to be incapable of
making his defence, it shall act as if the accused were
brought before it for the first time.

103. If an accused person is confined in a hospital or
other place appointed by law for the reception or custody
of lunatics, under the provisions of this Code or any order
made in exercise of any power conferred by this Code, and
the registered medical practitioner in charge of such
hospital or place certifies that the accused person is capable
of making his defence, the Governor-General may order
that such accused person shall be taken before the court
having jurisdiction in the case to be dealt with according to
law, and the certificate of such medical officer shall be
receivable by the court as prima facie evidence of the
capacity of the accused person.

104. (1) Except as may be otherwise provided by any
law, all evidence taken in any inquiry or trial under this
Code shall be taken in the presence of the accused, unless
with his consent his absence has been dispensed with in
accordance with the provisions of this Code.

(2) All evidence shall be recorded in English and, if
any evidence is given in any other language, it shall be
interpreted; and, in the case of any documents tendered in
evidence which are written in a foreign language, a
translation shall be provided. Any interpretation or
translation shall be made by a person appointed or
approved for the purpose by the court.

(3) If the accused does not understand English, any
evidence given shall be interpreted to him in a language
which he understands.

5(4) Except as may be otherwise expressly provided
by any written law, a court shall not be required to record
its performance or fulfilment of any duty or function
prescribed under, the provisions of this Code:


5 The insertion of subsection (4) deemed to have come into operation on 2nd April,

1969 in terms of section 1 of Act 6 of 1990.

Prima facie
evidence of
accused may be
given by
certificate.

Provisions
relating to the
taking of
evidence.

6 of 1990, s. 3.

CH.91 – 48] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Provided that —
(a) where there is nothing in the record of the

proceedings before a court to indicate that the
court has performed or fulfilled any duty or
function so prescribed, the court shall be deemed
to have complied with those requirements unless
the contrary is proven; and

(b) the failure by a court to comply with any of
those requirements shall not in any way vitiate
the trial of an accused person unless a court to
which an appeal is made considers that by
reason of the accused person not having had the
benefit of legal representation, the accused
person is shown to have been prejudiced by that
failure.

(5) Where an information before the Supreme Court
is quashed by reason of a failure of the court of committal
to comply with a requirement of this Code and to which
paragraph (b) of the proviso to subsection (4) applies the
court quashing the information may —

(a) remit the matter to the court of committal with
directions to rectify the failure and to continue
with the proceedings of the committal as from
that stage; or

(b) make such other order as the court considers
just.

105. (1) Subject to the provisions of section 77 of the
Supreme Court Act, the Chief Justice may from time to
time give directions as to the manner in which evidence or
the substance thereof shall be taken down in any
proceedings before any criminal court.

(2) Subject to the provisions of section 216 of this
Code and to any directions issued under the provisions of
subsection (1) of this section, in inquiries and trials in
criminal matters before a magistrate’s court, the evidence of
the witnesses shall be recorded in the following manner —

(a) the evidence of each witness, or so much thereof
as the magistrate deems material, shall be taken
down by the magistrate, or in his presence and
under his personal direction and superintendence,
and shall be signed by the magistrate and shall
form part of the record;

18 of 1994, s. 6.

Recording of
evidence.
15 of 1996, s. 78
and Second Sch.

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(b) such evidence shall not ordinarily be taken down
in the form of question and answer but in the
form of narrative:

Provided that a magistrate may, in his discretion, take
down or cause to be taken down any particular question
and answer or the evidence or any part thereof in any
particular case in the form of questions and answers.

(3) At the request of a witness his evidence shall be
read over to him.

106. (1) Except in a case in which the personal
attendance of the accused person has been dispensed with
under the provisions of section 66 of this Code or by leave
of the court, the judgment of any court in the exercise of its
original jurisdiction in any criminal trial shall be
pronounced, or the substance of such judgment explained,
in open court either immediately after the termination of
the trial or at some subsequent time of which notice shall
be given to the parties and their legal representatives, if
any:

Provided that the whole judgment shall be read out
by the presiding judge or magistrate if he is requested so to
do either by the prosecution or the defence.

(2) In any case in which judgment is required by
subsection (1) of this section to be read, or the substance
thereof explained, in open court, the accused person shall
be required to be present to hear the same.

107. Unless the Chief Justice otherwise directs,
where a magistrate has completed the hearing of a criminal
trial save for the delivery of the judgment which is to be
pronounced at some subsequent time and subsequently
ceases to act as a magistrate or is transferred to another
district that magistrate may, except in the case of a
conviction, prepare the judgment to be delivered in respect
of the criminal trial and that judgment may be read by his
successor and such reading shall be regarded as complying
in all respects with the provisions of section 106.

108. (1) Every judgment in a summary trial, except as
otherwise expressly provided by this Code or any other
law, shall be written by the magistrate in English and shall
contain the point or points for determination, the decision
thereon and the reasons for the decision, and shall be dated
and signed by such magistrate in open court at the time of
pronouncing it:

Mode of
delivering
judgment.

Magistrate may
deliver judgment
prepared by
predecessor.

9 of 1992, s. 4.

Contents of
judgment in
summary trial.

CH.91 – 50] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Provided that in a case in which the accused person
has admitted the truth of the charge and has been
convicted, it shall be sufficient compliance with the
provisions of this subsection if the judgment contains only
the finding and sentence or other final order and is signed
and dated by the magistrate at the time of pronouncing it.

(2) In the case of a conviction the judgment shall
specify the offence of which, and the section of the law
under which, the accused person is convicted and the
punishment to which he is sentenced or other lawful order
of the court upon such conviction.

(3) In the case of an acquittal the judgment shall
state the offence of which the accused person is acquitted,
and the section of the law under which the charge was
preferred, and shall direct that he be set at liberty in respect
of that offence.

109. On the application of the accused person a copy
of the judgment in any criminal trial, and, if practicable
and he so desires, a translation in his own language if that
language is not English, shall be given to him without
delay and free of any charge.

110. In any criminal proceedings the court may make
an order for the payment of costs in accordance with the
provisions of section 119 or 120, as may be appropriate,
of the Penal Code.

111. An appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court from
any order by a magistrate’s court awarding costs in any
criminal trial under the provisions of section 110 of this
Code.

112. Where, upon the apprehension of a person
charged with an offence, any property is taken from him,
the court before which he is charged may order —

(a) that the property or any part thereof be restored
to the person who appears to the court to be
entitled thereto, and, if he be the person charged,
that it be restored either to him or to such other
person as he may direct; or

(b) that the property or a part thereof be applied to
the payment of any fine or any costs or
compensation directed to be paid by the person
charged.

Accused person
entitled to copy
of judgment on
application.

Costs in criminal
cases.

Order of
magistrate for
payment for
costs appealable.

Property found
on accused
person.

Ch. 84.

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113. Any court before which any person is convicted
of an offence, under the provisions of the Penal Code,
involving stealing, taking, obtaining, embezzling,
converting or disposing of or knowingly receiving any
property, may direct the restitution of such property to the
owner thereof or his representative in accordance with and
subject to the provisions of section 64 of the Penal Code.

114. (1) If upon the trial of any person for any
misdemeanour the facts proved in evidence amount in law
to a felony, such person shall not by reason thereof be
entitled to be acquitted of such misdemeanour:

Provided that no person tried for such misdemeanour
shall be liable to be afterwards prosecuted for felony on the
same facts, unless the court before which such trial may be
had shall think fit, in its discretion, to discharge the jury
from giving any verdict upon such trial and to direct that
such person be charged upon information for felony, in
which case such person may be dealt with in all respects as
if he had not been put upon his trial for such
misdemeanour.

(2) When a person is charged with an offence
consisting of several particulars, a combination of some
only of which constitutes a complete lesser offence, and
such combination is proved but the remaining particulars
are to be proved, he may be convicted of the lesser offence
although he was not charged with it.

(3) When a person is charged with an offence and
facts are proved which reduce it to a lesser offence, he may
be convicted of the lesser offence although he was not
charged with it.

115. (1) Every person accused of any criminal
offence shall be entitled to be present in court during the
whole of his trial unless he so conducts himself in the court
as to render the continuance of the proceedings in his
presence impossible. The court may, however, in its
discretion and subject to the provisions of subsection (2) of
section 106 of this Code, allow any part of any trial to take
place in the absence of the accused with the consent of the
accused, and may permit the accused to be absent in such
case upon such terms as it thinks proper.

Restitution of
stolen property
after conviction.

Conviction in
case of variance
between
evidence and
offence charged.

Accused persons
entitled to be
present at trial
and may be
represented by
legal practitioner.

CH.91 – 52] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

For the purposes of this section, the consent of the
accused person to the conduct of the trial in his absence
shall be deemed to have been given in a case in which he
enters a written plea of guilty under the provisions of
section 66 of this Code.

(2) Every person accused of any criminal offence,
whether present in person or absent in accordance with the
provisions of this section, may be defended before any
court by a legal practitioner except in a case in which the
provisions of section 66 of this Code apply and a written
plea of guilty has been entered.

PART V
PROVISIONS RELATING TO
PRELIMINARY INQUIRIES

INCLUDING THE USE OF EXPERT
DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE

THEREAT AND IN OTHER CRIMINAL
PROCEEDINGS

116. Subject to the provisions of this Code, any
magistrate’s court may commit any person for trial before
the Supreme Court.

117. Whenever any charge has been brought against
any person in respect of an offence not triable summarily,
or which may be tried either summarily or on information
and as to which the magistrate before whom the case is
brought is of the opinion that it ought to be committed for
trial before the Supreme Court or the accused person,
having a right to elect, desires to be tried before the
Supreme Court, a preliminary inquiry shall be held in
accordance with the provisions hereafter in this Code
contained.

118. A magistrate conducting a preliminary inquiry
shall, at the commencement of such inquiry, read over and
explain to the accused person the charge in respect of
which the inquiry is being held and shall explain to the
accused person that he will have an opportunity later on in
the inquiry, if he so desires, of making a statement or
calling witnesses (or both) and shall further explain to the

2 of 1987, s. 3.

Power to commit
for trial.

Court to hold
preliminary
inquiry.

Magistrate to
read charge to
accused and
explain purpose
of the
proceedings.

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accused person the purpose of the proceedings, namely, to
determine whether there is sufficient evidence to put him
on his trial before the Supreme Court.

119. 6(1) When an accused person is brought before
a magistrate’s court, whether on summons, warrant or
otherwise, charged with an offence in respect of which a
preliminary inquiry is to be held, the magistrate shall, in the
presence of the accused, take down in writing, or cause to be
taken down in writing or recorded, whether mechanically or
otherwise, the statements on oath of witnesses called in
support of the charge by the prosecution. Such statements
shall be deemed to be, and are hereafter in this Code referred
to as, depositions, and —
(i) when taken down by the magistrate, shall be

taken down in both narrative and question and
answer form or either as the magistrate sees fit;

(ii) when caused to be taken down or recorded by
the magistrate, shall be taken down or recorded
in the question and answer form;

(2) The accused person or any legal practitioner
appearing on his behalf shall be entitled to cross-examine
any such witness and the answers of a witness thereto shall
form part of the deposition of such witness.

(3) If the accused person is not represented by a
legal practitioner, the magistrate shall, at the close of the
examination of each witness for the prosecution, ask the
accused person whether he wishes to put any questions to
that witness.

7(4) Subject to subsection (6), the deposition of each
witness shall be —




6 In relation to the substitution of subsection (1), Act 8 of 1995, section 4, reads as

follows —
“4. After the date of the coming into operation of section 2 [10th March, 1995], no
objection shall be allowed by a court on the ground that before that date there was during
a preliminary enquiry a failure to comply with any of the provisions relating to the
conduct of the enquiry unless the court considers that the failure has or would
substantially prejudice the fair trial of the person following upon that enquiry or
otherwise occasion injustice to the person.”

7 In relation to the substitution of subsection (4), Act 8 of 1995, section 4, reads as
follows —
“4. After the date of the coming into operation of section 2 [10th March, 1995], no
objection shall be allowed by a court on the ground that before that date there was during
a preliminary enquiry a failure to comply with any of the provisions relating to the
conduct of the enquiry unless the court considers that the failure has or would
substantially prejudice the fair trial of the person following upon that enquiry or
otherwise occasion injustice to the person.”

Taking of
depositions.
8 of 1995, s. 2.

8 of 1995, s. 2

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(a) read over to him;
(b) signed by the witness or attested by his mark;

and
(c) signed by the magistrate before whom it was

taken,
in the presence of the accused, at such time as is appointed
therefor by the magistrate and notified to the accused.

(5) If any witness denies the correctness of any part
of the deposition when the same is read over to him, the
magistrate may, instead of altering the deposition as
written down, make a memorandum thereon of the
objection made to it by the witness and shall add any
remarks as to the matter as he thinks necessary.

(6) If a statement is made by a witness in a language
other than that in which it is taken down and the witness
does not understand the language in which it is taken
down, it shall be interpreted to him in a language which he
understands by an interpreter who shall be sworn in
accordance with the provisions of the Oaths Act, and the
identity of the interpreter shall be recorded thereon by the
magistrate.

8(7) The magistrate may permit a deposition upon
completion to be read over to and signed or attested by a
witness in the absence of the accused, if the accused,
having been notified in accordance with subsection (4) to
appear before the magistrate, fails to so appear.

(8) The failure of an accused person to be present at
the reading over to, and the signing or attesting by, a
witness of his deposition as mentioned in subsection (4)
shall not render that deposition invalid.

120. (1) Any document purporting to be —
(a) a survey for public purposes within the meaning

of the Land Surveyors Act; or


8 In relation to the substitution of subsection (7), Act 8 of 1995, section 4, reads as

follows —
“4. After the date of the coming into operation of section 2 [10th March, 1995], no
objection shall be allowed by a court on the ground that before that date there was during
a preliminary enquiry a failure to comply with any of the provisions relating to the
conduct of the enquiry unless the court considers that the failure has or would
substantially prejudice the fair trial of the person following upon that enquiry or
otherwise occasion injustice to the person.”

Ch. 60.

8 of 1995, s. 2

8 of 1995, s. 2.

Admission or
evidence of
certain reports
and plans.
2 of 1987, s. 3.
Ch. 251.

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(b) a report made under the hand of an analyst on
any matter or thing duly submitted to him for
examination and report,

shall be receivable in any criminal proceedings in any court
as evidence of any matter or thing contained therein
relating to the survey or examination as the case may be.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) the court may of
its own motion or where it appears desirable in the interests
of justice on the application of any party to the proceedings
require the person who did the survey or the analyst to
attend before the court and give evidence.

(3) The provisions of this section shall with the
necessary modifications apply to a document purporting to
be a post mortem report of a duly registered medical
practitioner and to a document purporting to be a report
made by such a practitioner within forty-eight hours of his
examination of —

(a) any injury received by; or
(b) the condition of,

a person and which injury or condition is relevant to the
criminal proceedings in which the document is sought to be
introduced as evidence.

(4) In this section the expression “analyst” means a
person employed in the public service as an analyst, a
firearms examiner, a ballistics expert, a firearms technician
or a radiologist or, subject to him being designated for the
purposes of this section by the Minister responsible for the
Health Services, a laboratory technician.

(5) The court may for the purposes of the
proceedings assume that the signature on any such
document is genuine without further evidence on the point
and that the person preparing or signing it held the
qualification and office which he professed to hold at the
time of that preparation or signature.

9(6) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this
or any other law, any document purporting to be a report of
an analysis, test or examination carried out by a person
employed in the public service in the capacity of an analyst,
chemist, laboratory technician or medical practitioner shall


9 In terms of section 1(2)(a) of Act 2 of 1989 the insertion of subsection (6) came into

operation on 11th May, 1987.

33 of 1996, s. 2.

2 of 1989, s. 3.

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be receivable, without proof of the signature, qualification,
employment or office of the person by whom the report
purports to be issued, in any proceedings of a criminal
nature as prima facie evidence of the results of such
analysis, test or examination, as the case may be.

121. No objection to a charge, summons or warrant
for defect in substance or in form, or for variance between
it and the evidence for the prosecution, shall be allowed at
a preliminary inquiry; but if any variance appears to the
court to be such that the accused person has been thereby
deceived or misled, the court may, on the application of the
accused person, adjourn the inquiry or may allow any
witness to be recalled and such questions to be put to him
as by reason of the terms of the charge may have been
omitted.

122. (1) If, from the absence of witnesses or any
other sufficient cause to be recorded in the proceedings, the
court considers it necessary or advisable to adjourn the
inquiry, the court may from time to time by warrant
remand the accused for a reasonable time, not exceeding
seven clear days at any one time, to some prison or other
place of security; or, if the remand is not for more than
three days, the court may in writing order the officer or
person in whose custody the accused person is, or any
other fit officer or person, to continue to keep the accused
in his custody, and to bring him up at the time appointed
for the commencement or continuance of the inquiry.

(2) During a remand the court may at any time order
the accused to be brought before it and, subject to the
provisions of the Bail Act, may on a remand at any time
admit the accused to bail.

123. (1) If, after the examination of the witnesses
called on behalf of the prosecution, the court considers
that, on the evidence as it stands, there are sufficient
grounds for committing the accused for trial, the magistrate
shall satisfy himself that the accused understands the
charge and shall ask the accused whether he wishes to
make a statement in his defence or not and, if he wishes to
make a statement, whether he wishes to make it on oath, or
not. The magistrate shall also explain to the accused that he
is not bound to make a statement and that his statement, if
he makes one, will be part of the evidence at the trial.

Variance between
evidence and
charge.

Remand.

20 of 1994, s. 15
and Third Sch.

Provisions as to
taking statements
or evidence of
accused persons.

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(2) Everything which the accused person says,
either by way of statement or evidence, shall be recorded in
full and shall be shown or read over to him, and he shall be
at liberty to explain or add to anything contained in the
record thereof.

(3) When the whole is made conformable to what he
declares is the truth, the record thereof shall be attested by
the magistrate, who shall certify that such statement or
evidence was taken in his presence and hearing and
contains accurately the whole statement made, or evidence
given, as the case may be, by the accused person. The
accused person shall sign, or attest by his mark, such
record. If he refuses, the court shall add a note of his
refusal, and the record may be used as if he had signed or
attested it.

(4) After subsection (3) has been complied with, the
magistrate shall explain to the accused person that if the
court commits him for trial he may not be permitted at the
trial to give evidence of an alibi or to call witnesses in
support of an alibi unless he give particulars of the alibi
and of the witnesses to the court immediately or to the
Attorney-General within 21 days from the end of the
committal proceedings; and where the court commits the
accused person for trial the magistrate shall record in
writing the fact that the explanation has been given.

124. (1) Immediately after complying with the
requirements of section 123 of this Code, relating to the
statement or evidence of the accused person, and whether
the accused person has or has not made a statement or
given evidence, the magistrate shall ask him whether he
desires to call witnesses on his own behalf.

(2) The magistrate shall take the evidence of any
witnesses called by the accused person in like manner as in
the case of the witnesses for the prosecution, and every
such witness, not being merely a witness to the character of
the accused person, shall be bound by recognisance to
appear and give evidence at the trial of such accused
person.

(3) If the accused person states that he has witnesses
to call, but that they are not present in court, and the
magistrate is satisfied that the absence of such witnesses is
not due to any fault or neglect of the accused person, and

2 of 1977, s. 2.

Evidence and
address of
defence.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

that there is a likelihood that they could if present give
material evidence on behalf of the accused person, the
magistrate may adjourn the inquiry and issue process, or
take other steps, to compel the attendance of such
witnesses, and on their attendance shall take their
depositions and bind them by recognisance in the same
manner as witnesses under subsection (2) of this section.

(4) In any preliminary inquiry under this Part of this
Code the accused person or his counsel (if any) shall be at
liberty to address the court —

(a) after the examination of the witnesses called on
behalf of the prosecution; or

(b) if no witnesses for the defence are to be called,
immediately after the statement or evidence of
the accused person; or

(c) if the accused person elects —
(i) to give evidence or to make a statement

and witnesses for the defence are to be
called; or

(ii) not to give evidence or to make a
statement, but to call witnesses,

immediately after the evidence of such
witnesses.

(5) If the accused person or his counsel addresses
the court in accordance with the provisions of subsection
(4) of this section, the prosecution shall have the right of
reply.

(6) Where the accused person reserves his defence,
or at the conclusion of any statement in answer to the
charge or evidence in defence, as the case may be, the
magistrate shall ask him whether he desires any assistance
in regard to calling witnesses at the trial, other than any
whose evidence has been taken under the provisions of this
section, and, if so, whether he desires to give their names
and addresses so that they may be summoned. The
magistrate shall thereupon record the names and addresses
of any such witnesses whom he may mention.

125. If, at the close of the case for the prosecution, or
after hearing any evidence in defence, the magistrate
considers that the evidence against the accused person is
not sufficient to put him on his trial, the court shall
forthwith order him to be discharged as to the particular
charge under inquiry; but such discharge shall not be a bar
to any subsequent charge in respect of the same facts:

Discharge of
accused persons.

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Provided that nothing contained in this section shall
prevent the court from proceeding either forthwith, or after
such adjournment of the inquiry as may seem expedient in
the interests of justice, to investigate any other charge upon
which the accused person may have been summoned or
otherwise brought before it, or which, from the evidence
given in the course of the hearing of the charge so
dismissed as aforesaid, it may appear that the accused
person has committed.

126. If, at the close of or during the preliminary
inquiry, it shall appear to the court that the offence is of
such a nature that it may suitably be dealt with under the
powers possessed by the court and is not a case in which
the accused has a right to elect to be tried on information
and has so elected, the court may, subject to the other
provisions of this Code, hear and finally determine the
matter and either convict the accused person or dismiss the
charge:

Provided that in every such case the accused shall be
entitled to have recalled for cross-examination or further
cross-examination all witnesses for the prosecution whom
he may require to be recalled.

127. (1) If the magistrate’s court considers the
evidence sufficient to put the accused person on his trial,
the court shall commit him for trial before the Supreme
Court, and shall, until the trial, either admit him to bail or
send him to prison for safekeeping. The warrant of such
first-named court shall be sufficient authority for the
detention of the person therein named by the officer in
charge of any prison.

(2) In the case of a corporation, the court may, if it
considers the evidence sufficient to put the accused
corporation on trial, make an order authorising the
Attorney-General to file an information against such
corporation, and for the purposes of this Code any such
order shall be deemed to be a committal for trial.

128. When an accused person is committed for trial
before the Supreme Court, subject to the provisions of this
Code with regard to witnesses who are about to leave The
Bahamas or who are ill, the magistrate’s court committing
him shall bind by recognisance, with or without sureties as


Summary
adjudication in
certain cases.

Committal for
trial.

15 of 1996, s. 78
and Second Sch.

Complainant and
witnesses to be
bound over.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

the court may deem requisite, the complainant and every
witness to appear at the trial to prosecute or to prosecute
and give evidence or to give evidence, as the case may be,
and also to appear and give evidence, if required, at any
further examination concerning the charge which may be
held by direction given by the Attorney-General under
section 138 of this Code:

Provided that if the complainant is acting on behalf
of the Crown, the Attorney-General, the Commissioner of
Police or any department of the Government or is a public
officer acting in his official capacity, he shall not be
required to be bound by any recognisance or to give any
security.

129. If a person refuses to enter into such
recognisance, the court may commit him to prison or into
the custody of any officer of the court, there to remain until
after the trial, unless in the meantime he enters into a
recognisance. If afterwards, from want of sufficient
evidence or other cause, the accused is discharged, the
court shall order that the person imprisoned for so refusing
be also discharged.

130. A person who has been committed for trial
before the Supreme Court shall be entitled at any time
before the trial to have a copy of the depositions without
payment.

The court shall at the time of committing him for trial
inform the accused person of the effect of this provision.


131. (1) Where any person charged before a magistrate’s

court with an offence triable upon information before the Supreme
Court is committed for trial, and it appears to such magistrate’s
court, after taking into account anything which may be said with
reference thereto by the accused or the prosecutor, that the
attendance at the trial of any witness who has been examined
before it is unnecessary by reason of anything contained in any
statement by the accused person, or of the evidence of the witness
being merely of a formal nature, the magistrate’s court shall, if the
witness has not already been bound over, bind him over to attend
the trial conditionally upon notice given to him and not otherwise,
or shall, if the witness has already been bound over, direct

Refusal to be
bound over.

Accused person
entitled to copy
of depositions.

Binding over of
witnesses
conditionally.

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that he shall be treated as having been bound over to attend
only conditionally as aforesaid, and shall transmit to the
Supreme Court a statement in writing of the names,
addresses and occupations of the witnesses who are, or
who are to be treated as having been, bound over to attend
the trial conditionally.

(2) Where a witness has been, or is to be treated as
having been, bound over conditionally to attend the trial,
the Attorney-General or the person committed for trial may
give notice, at any time not later than seven days before the
date fixed for trial, to the committing magistrate’s court
and at any time thereafter to the Registrar of the Supreme
Court that he desires the witness to attend the trial, and any
such court or Registrar to whom any such notice is given
shall forthwith notify the witness that he is required so to
attend in pursuance of his recognisance.

The magistrate’s court shall, on committing the
accused person for trial, inform him of his right to require
the attendance at the trial of any such witness as aforesaid,
and of the steps which he must take for the purposes of
enforcing such attendance.

(3) Any documents or articles produced in evidence
before the magistrate’s court by any witness whose
attendance at the trial is stated to be unnecessary in
accordance with the provisions of this section and marked
as exhibits shall, unless in any particular case the
magistrate’s court otherwise orders, be retained by the
magistrate’s court and forwarded with the depositions to
the Registrar of the Supreme Court.


132. If it is proved upon oath before any magistrate

that any person is dangerously ill and unable to travel, or is
about to leave The Bahamas for a period extending beyond
the time when the accused, if committed for trial, would be
tried, and that such person is able and willing to give
material information as to any offence which such
magistrate is not empowered to try summarily, and with
which any person has been charged before a magistrate
(whether the preliminary inquiry has or has not been held
or is in progress, but not after the accused has been
discharged) the magistrate may take the deposition of such
person at the place where such person is lying sick or, if

15 of 1996, s. 78
and Second Sch.

Deposition of
witness who is ill
or about to leave
The Bahamas.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

such person is about to leave The Bahamas as aforesaid, in
the court, in the manner prescribed by this Code, and shall,
after taking it, sign it, adding to it by way of heading a
statement of the reason for taking it, and of the day upon
which and place at which it was taken, and of the names of
the persons, if any, present at the taking thereof.

133. Whenever it is intended to take any such
deposition as aforesaid, reasonable notice that it is intended
so to be taken, shall, if the accused is in prison, be served
upon him in prison, or, if he is on bail, be either served
upon him or left with an adult inmate at his last or most
usual place of abode. If the accused is in prison, the
magistrate shall, by an order in writing, direct the gaoler
having the custody of the accused to cause him to be
conveyed to the place where the deposition is to be taken,
for the purpose of being present when the same is taken,
and to be conveyed back to prison when it has been taken,
but no accused person shall be taken to any such place
(other than the court) for such a purpose without his
consent.

134. If such deposition relates to an offence, the
preliminary inquiry into which has ended, the magistrate
taking it shall send it to the Registrar to be placed with the
other depositions taken in the case, and if it relates to an
offence with which some person has been charged, and as
to which a preliminary inquiry is in progress, the
magistrate shall deal with it like any other deposition taken
in the matter under preliminary inquiry; but such person as
aforesaid so making a deposition shall not be called upon
to enter into a recognisance to give evidence at the trial of
the accused.

135. Every deposition so taken under the provisions
of section 132 of this Code shall be a deposition taken in
the case to which it relates, and shall be admissible in
evidence on the same conditions as other depositions:

Provided that it shall be admissible against the
accused although it may have been taken in his absence,
and may not have been read over to the witness in his
presence, and although neither he nor his counsel had any
opportunity of cross-examining the witness, if it is proved
that the accused having received such notice aforesaid that

Notice to be
given.

Magistrate to
deal with the
deposition like
any other
deposition.

Such deposition
to be admissible
in evidence.

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such deposition was about to be taken, refused or neglected
to be present, or to cause his counsel to be present, when it
was taken:

Provided further that if it is proved that the person
whose evidence has been taken as aforesaid has so
recovered from his sickness or returned to The Bahamas as
to be able to be present at the sessions at which the accused
is tried, such deposition so taken as aforesaid shall not be
read.

136. Any person charged with having committed an
offence not punishable summarily may on notice to the
complainant require that the evidence of any such person
as in section 132 of this Code mentioned may be taken on
behalf of the defence in like manner, and any deposition so
taken shall be dealt with and be admissible in evidence on
the same conditions as other depositions and on conditions
corresponding to those mentioned in section 135 of this
Code.

137. In the event of a committal for trial, the written
charge, the depositions, the statement (if any) of the
accused person, the recognisances of the complainant and
the witnesses, the recognisances of bail (if any), and any
documents or things which have been put in evidence shall
be transmitted without delay by the committing court to the
Registrar of the Supreme Court, and an authenticated copy
of the depositions, the statement aforesaid and any
documentary exhibits shall be supplied to the Attorney-
General at the same time by the magistrate’s court before
which the committal proceedings were conducted.

138. (1) After the receipt by the Attorney-General of
an authenticated copy of the depositions, recognisances
and other documents forwarded to him in relation to any
case committed for trial and in which a preliminary inquiry
has been held under the provisions of this Code, the
Attorney-General may at any time refer back such
documents to the magistrate’s court concerned with
directions to re-open the inquiry for the purpose of taking
evidence or further evidence on a certain point or points to
be specified, and with such directions as the Attorney-
General may think proper.

Accused to have
same privileges
as prosecutor
under section
135.

Transmission of
records to
Supreme Court
and Attorney-
General.

Power for the
Attorney-
General to refer
case back to
magistrate for
further
preliminary
inquiry.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) Subject to any express directions which may be
given by the Attorney-General, the effect of any such
reference back to the magistrate’s court shall be that the
inquiry shall be re-opened and dealt with in all respects as
if the accused person had not been committed for trial.

139. If after such receipt of any documents as
aforesaid the Attorney-General is of opinion that the
accused person should not have been committed for trial,
but that the case should have been dealt with summarily,
the Attorney-General may, if he thinks fit, at any time after
such receipt, refer back such documents to the magistrate’s
court with directions to deal with the case accordingly and
with such other directions as he may think proper, and
thereupon the magistrate’s court shall deal with the case
accordingly and as if the said accused person had not been
committed for trial:

Provided that in every such case the accused shall be
entitled to have recalled for cross-examination or further
cross-examination all or any of the witnesses for the
prosecution.

140. (1) Any directions given by the Attorney-
General under section 138 or 139 of this Code shall be in
writing signed by him or by an officer acting on his
instructions under the provisions of section 54 of this
Code, and shall be complied with by the magistrate, and by
him be attached to the documents in the proceedings.

(2) The Attorney-General or the officer acting on
his instructions as aforesaid may at any time add to, alter or
revoke any such directions.

141. (1) Every person committed for trial before the
Supreme Court shall be tried on an information preferred
by the Attorney-General, and such trial shall be had by and
before a judge and a jury to be summoned, drawn and
empanelled according to the provisions of the Juries Act or
any law for the time being in force repealing and replacing
that Act.

(2) Every such information shall be drawn up in
accordance with the provisions of this Code and, when
signed by the Attorney-General, or by any person
authorised by him under the provisions of section 54 of this
Code, shall be filed in the office of the Registrar

Power for the
Attorney-
General to refer
back case to be
dealt with
summarily.

Further
provisions as to
referring back of
case.

Mode of trial
upon committal
to the Supreme
Court and
preferment of
information.

Ch. 59.

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together with such additional copies thereof as are
necessary for service upon the accused person or persons.

(3) In any such information the Attorney-General
may charge the accused person with any offence which, in
his opinion, is disclosed by the depositions either in
addition to or in substitution for the offence upon which
the accused person has been committed for trial.

142. The Registrar shall endorse or annex to every
information filed as aforesaid, and to every copy thereof
delivered to the officer of the court or peace officer for
service thereof, a notice of trial, which notice shall specify the
date when and the place where the accused person is to be
tried by the Supreme Court on the said information, and shall
be in the following form, or as near thereto as may be —

“A.B. Take notice that you will be tried on the
information whereof this is a true copy by the
Supreme Court at ........................ on the
...................... day of ........................ 19..........”

143. The Registrar shall deliver or cause to be
delivered to the officer of the court or peace officer serving
the information a copy thereof with the notice of trial
endorsed on the same or annexed thereto, and, if there are
more accused persons committed for trial than one, then as
many copies as there are such accused persons; and the
officer of the court or peace officer aforesaid shall, as soon
as may be after having received the copy or copies of the
information and notice or notices of trial, and three days at
least before the day for trial, by himself or his deputy or
other officer, deliver to the accused person or persons
committed for trial the said copy or copies of the
information and notice or notices, and explain to him or
them the nature and exigency thereof; and when any
accused person shall have been admitted to bail and cannot
readily be found, he shall leave a copy of the said
information and notice of trial with someone of his
household for him at his dwelling-house or with someone
of his bail for him, and if none such can be found, shall
affix the said copy and notice to the outer or principal door
of the dwelling-house of the accused person or of any of
his bail.

(2) The officer serving the copy or copies of the
information and notice or notices of trial shall forthwith
make to the Registrar a return of the mode of service
thereof.

Notice of trial.

15 of 1996, s. 78
and Second Sch.

Service of copy
of information
and notice of
trial.
15 of 1996, s. 78
and Second Sch.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

144. (1) The Supreme Court, upon the application of
the prosecutor or the accused person, if the court considers
that there is sufficient cause for the delay, may postpone
the trial of any accused person and may respite the
recognisances of the complainant and witnesses, in which
case the respited recognisances shall have the same force
and effect as fresh recognisances to prosecute and give
evidence at such subsequent sessions would have had.

(2) The Supreme Court may give such directions for
the amendment of the information and the service of any
notices which the court may deem necessary in
consequence of any order made under subsection (1) of this
section.

PART VI
PROCEDURE IN TRIALS BEFORE THE SUPREME

COURT
145. Subject to the provisions of this Code and to any

other law for the time being in force in The Bahamas, the
practice of the Supreme Court in the exercise of its
criminal jurisdiction and the mode of conducting and
procedure at the trial of any person upon information shall
be assimilated so far as circumstances admit to the practice
of the High Court of Justice, in the exercise of its criminal
jurisdiction, and of courts of oyer and terminer and general
gaol delivery in England.

146. Where any person against whom an information
has been preferred, and who is at large, does not appear to
plead to the information, whether he is under recognisances
or not, the court may issue a warrant for his arrest.

147. If any person against whom an information is
preferred is at the date appointed for the trial thereof
confined in prison for some other cause, the court, by order
in writing, may direct the gaoler to bring up the accused as
often as may be required for the purpose of the trial, and
such order shall be sufficient authority therefor and shall be
obeyed by the gaoler. Any such person shall for all
purposes be deemed to be in lawful custody during the
period when he is absent from prison in accordance with
any such order.

15 of 1996, s. 78
and Second Sch.

Postponement of
trial.

S.I. 65/1992.

Practice of
Supreme Court
in the exercise of
its criminal
jurisdiction.

Bench warrant
where accused
does not appear.

Bringing up
prisoner for trial.

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148. (1) An accused person to be tried before the
Supreme Court upon an information shall be placed at the
bar unfettered, unless the court shall see cause otherwise to
order, and the information shall be read over to him by the
Registrar if need be, and such accused person shall be
required to plead instantly thereto, unless he shall object
that a copy of the information has not previously been
served upon him under the provisions of section 140 of this
Code or he raises objection to the information as hereafter
in this Code provided.

(2) In the case of a corporation, the corporation
may, by its representative, enter a plea in writing, and if
either the corporation does not appear by its representative
or, though it does so appear, fails to enter a plea, the court
shall cause a plea of not guilty to be entered.

For the purposes of this section a representative of a
corporation need not be appointed under the seal of the
corporation and a statement in writing purporting to be
signed by the managing director of the corporation or by
any person (by whatever name called) having, or being one
of the persons having, the management of the affairs of the
corporation, to the effect that the person named in the
statement has been appointed as the representative of the
corporation for the purposes of this section shall be
admissible without further proof as prima facie evidence
that the person has been so appointed.

149. (1) No count in an information shall be quashed
upon the ground that it contains insufficient particulars,
but, in any case, if objection is taken to any count by the
accused person, or if in default of such objection it appears
to the court that the interest of justice so requires, the court
may order that the prosecution furnish such particulars in
support of the charge as it may consider necessary for a fair
trial and a copy of any such particulars shall be given to the
accused or his counsel without charge, and the trial shall
proceed thereafter as if the information had been amended
in conformity with the particulars.

(2) Every objection to any information on any of the
grounds referred to in subsection (1) of this section or for
any formal defect on the face thereof shall be taken
immediately after the information has been read over to the
accused and not later.

Arraignment of
accused.

Objection to
information on
grounds of
insufficiency of
particulars.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

150. (1) Where, before a trial upon information or at
any stage of such trial, it appears to the court that the
information is defective, the court shall make such order
for the amendment of the information as the court
considers necessary to meet the circumstances unless,
having regard to the merits of the case, the required
amendments cannot be made without injustice. Any such
amendments shall be made upon such terms as to the court
shall seem just.

(2) When an information is amended under the
provisions of this section, a note of the order for
amendment shall be endorsed on the information and
thereafter the information shall be treated for the purposes
of all proceedings in connection therewith as having been
filed in the amended form.

(3) Where, before a trial upon information or at any
stage of such trial, the court is of the opinion that the
accused may be prejudiced or embarrassed in his defence
by reason of being charged with more than one offence in
the same information, or that for any reason it is desirable
to direct that where there are two or more accused persons
they should be tried separately, the court may order the
separate trial of any count or counts in such information or
the separate trial of any accused persons charged in the
same information.

(4) Where, before a trial upon information or at any
stage of such trial, the court is of the opinion that the
postponement of the trial is expedient as a consequence of
the exercise of any power of the court under this section or
any other provisions of this Code, the court shall make
such order as to the postponement of the trial as appears
necessary.

(5) Where an order of the court is made under this
section for a separate trial or for the postponement of a trial —

(a) the procedure on the separate trial of a count
shall be the same in all respects as if the count
had been found in a separate information, and
the procedure on the postponed trial shall be the
same in all respects as if the trial had not
commenced; and

(b) the court may make such order as to admitting
the accused to bail and as to the enlargement of
recognisances and otherwise as the court may
think fit.

Amendment of
information,
separate trial and
postponement of
trial.

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(6) Any power conferred upon the court under this
section shall be in addition to and not in derogation of any
other power of the court for the same or similar purposes.

151. (1) No objection to an information shall be taken
by way of demurrer, but if any information does not state
in substance an indictable offence or states an offence not
triable by the court, the accused may move the court to
quash it or in arrest of judgment.

(2) If the motion is made before the accused pleads,
the court shall either quash the information or amend it, if,
having regard to the interest of justice, it considers that it is
proper that it should be amended.

(3) If the defect in the information appears to the
court during the trial and the court does not think fit to
amend it, it may, in its discretion, quash the information or
leave the objection to be taken in arrest of judgment.

(4) If the information is quashed, the court may
direct the accused to plead to another information founded
on the same facts when called on at the same session of the
court.

152. Where an information contains a count charging
the accused with having been previously convicted, he
shall not, at the time of his arraignment, be required to
plead to it unless he pleads guilty to the rest of the
information, nor shall the count be mentioned to the jury
when the accused is given in charge to them, or when they
are sworn, nor shall he be tried upon it if he is acquitted on
the other counts; but if he is convicted on any other part of
the information, he shall be asked whether he has been
previously convicted as alleged or not, and, if he says that
he has not or does not say that he has been so convicted,
the jury shall be charged to inquire into the matter as in
other cases.

153. No plea in abatement shall be allowed in any
proceedings under this Code.

154. When the accused is called upon to plead, he
may plead either guilty or not guilty, or such other special
pleas as are provided hereafter in this Code.

Quashing of
information.

Charge of
previous
conviction.

Abolition of
pleas in
abatement.

Pleading to the
information.

CH.91 – 70] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

155. (1) If an accused person upon being arraigned
upon any information stands mute of malice or will not, or
by reason of infirmity cannot, answer directly to the
information, the court may, if it thinks fit, order the
Registrar, or other proper officer of the court, to enter a
plea of not guilty on behalf of such person, and the plea so
entered shall have the same force and effect as if such
person had actually pleaded the same.

(2) If it appears, before or upon arraignment, that an
accused person may be insane, the court may order a jury
to be empanelled to try his sanity, and the jury shall
thereupon, after hearing evidence for that purpose, find
whether he is or is not insane and unfit to stand his trial. If
the finding of the jury is that the accused person is insane
and unfit to stand his trial the provisions of section 192 of
this Code shall apply.

156. (1) If upon arraignment the accused pleads
guilty he may be convicted thereon.

(2) If upon arraignment the accused person pleads
not guilty, or if a plea of not guilty is entered upon his
behalf in accordance with the provisions of section 155 of
this Code, the court shall proceed to try the case.

(3) Every plea, including any special plea hereafter
in this Code provided for, shall be entered by the Registrar,
or other proper officer of the court, on the back of the
information or on a sheet of paper annexed thereto.

157. (1) The following special pleas, and no others,
may be pleaded, that is to say, a plea of autrefois acquit, a
plea of autrefois convict, a plea of pardon, and such plea of
justification in cases of defamatory libel as is hereafter in
this Code mentioned.

(2) All other grounds of defence may be relied on
under the plea of not guilty.

(3) The pleas of autrefois acquit, autrefois convict,
and pardon may be pleaded together, and shall, if pleaded,
be disposed of before the accused is called on to plead
further; and if every such plea is disposed of against the
accused, he shall be allowed to plead not guilty.

(4) In any plea of autrefois acquit, or autrefois convict,
it shall be sufficient for the accused to state that he has

Refusal or
incapacity to
plead.

Proceedings
when plea made.

Special pleas
allowed to be
pleaded.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

been lawfully acquitted or convicted, as the case may be,
of the offence charged in the count to which the plea is
pleaded.

(5) Every special plea shall be in writing or, if
pleaded orally, shall be reduced in writing, and shall be
filed with the Registrar.

158. (1) On the trial of an issue on a plea of autrefois
acquit or autrefois convict, if it appears that the matter on
which the accused was tried on the former trial is the same
in whole or in part as that on which it is proposed to try
him, and that he might on the former trial have been
convicted of any of the offences of which he may be
convicted on the count to which the plea is pleaded, subject
to subsection (2) of this section, the court shall give
judgment that he be discharged from those counts which
relate to such offences of which he might on the former
trial have been convicted.

(2) If it appears that the accused might, on the
former trial, have been convicted of any offence of which
he may be convicted on the count to which the plea is
pleaded, but that he may be convicted also on that count of
some offence of which he could not have been convicted
on the former trial, the court shall direct that he shall not be
convicted on that count of any offence of which he might
have been convicted on the former trial, but that he shall
plead over as to the other offence charged.

(3) Upon the trial of an issue to which this section
refers, the judge shall determine whether in law the
accused was convicted or liable to be convicted of any
offence of which he stands charged or may be convicted on
the count to which he has pleaded autrefois acquit or
autrefois convict; but any issue of fact arising in relation
thereto shall be for determination by the jury and the judge
may, if he shall think fit, require the jury to return a special
verdict in relation thereto.

159. (1) Subject to the provisions of section 79 of this
Code, where an information charges substantially the same
offence as that charged in the information on which the
accused was given in charge on a former trial, but adds a
statement of intention or circumstances of aggravation
tending, if proved, to increase the punishment, the previous
acquittal or conviction shall be a bar to the subsequent
information.

General effect of
pleas of autrefois
acquit and
convict.

Effect where
previous offence
charged was
without
aggravation.

CH.91 – 72] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) A previous acquittal or conviction on an
information for murder shall be a bar to a second
information for the same homicide charging it as
manslaughter; and a previous acquittal or conviction on an
information for manslaughter shall be a bar to a second
information for the same homicide charging it as murder.

160. On the trial of an issue on a plea of autrefois
acquit or autrefois convict, the depositions transmitted to
the Registrar on the former trial, together with the judge’s
notes, if available, and the depositions transmitted to the
Registrar on the subsequent charge or the copy of the
record of the magistrate’s court, as the case may be, shall
be admissible in evidence to prove or disprove the identity
of the charges.

161. (1) Where any person accused of publishing a
defamatory libel pleads that the defamatory matter
published by him was true, and that it was for the public
benefit that the matters charged should be published in the
manner in which and at the time when they were published,
the plea may justify the defamatory matter in the sense
specified, if any, in the count, or in the sense which the
defamatory matter bears without any such specification; or
separate pleas justifying the defamatory matter in each
sense may be pleaded separately, as if the libels had been
charged in separate counts. The plea shall be in writing or,
if made orally, shall be reduced to writing, and shall set
forth the particular fact or facts by reason of which it was
for the public good that the matter should be so published.
The Crown may reply generally denying the truth thereof.

(2) The truth of the matters charged in an alleged
libel shall in no case be inquired into without such plea of
justification, unless the accused is put upon his trial upon
an information charging him with publishing the libel,
knowing the same to be false, in which case the evidence
of the truth may be given in order to negative the allegation
that the accused knew the libel to be false.

(3) The accused may, in addition to such plea, plead
not guilty, and the pleas shall be inquired of together. No
such plea of justification as is herein provided for shall be
pleaded to any information or count so far as it charges a
libel to be seditious, or blasphemous, or obscene libel.

Use of
depositions, etc.
on former trial,
or trial of special
plea.

Pleas of
justification in
case of libel.

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(4) If, when such a plea of justification is pleaded,
the accused is convicted, the court may, in pronouncing
sentence, consider whether his guilt is aggravated or
mitigated by the plea.

(5) If, when such plea of justification is pleaded, the
issue thereon is found against the accused, the Crown shall
be entitled to recover from the accused the cost sustained
by the Crown by reason of such plea.

(6) The costs so to be recovered by the Crown shall
be taxed by the Registrar.

162. (1) If, from the absence of witnesses or any
other reasonable cause to be recorded in the proceedings,
the court considers it necessary or advisable to postpone
the commencement of or to adjourn any trial, the court may
from time to time postpone or adjourn the same on such
terms as it thinks fit for such time as it considers
reasonable, and may remand the accused to the prison or
other place of security, or may admit the accused to bail.
During any remand the court may at any time order the
accused to be brought before it.

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of
this section, when the accused is given in charge of the jury
the trial shall proceed continuously. Upon any adjournment
the court may in all cases, if it thinks fit, direct that during
the adjournment the jury shall be kept together, and proper
provision made for preventing them from holding
communication with anyone on the subject of the trial.
Such direction shall be given in all cases in which the
accused might, upon conviction, be sentenced to death.

(3) In all cases which are not capital, the jurors may
be permitted to separate upon adjournment of the court:

Provided that in a trial where the charge is one of
felony no juror shall be allowed to depart from the court
unless and until he has taken the special oath in that behalf
prescribed by subsection (3) of section 13 of the Oaths Act.

163. All matters relating to the calling, challenging,
empanelling or swearing of jurors, or otherwise in respect
of any matter relating to juries for which no express
provision is made in this Code, shall be conducted in
accordance with the provisions of the Juries Act or any law
for the time being in force repealing and replacing that Act.

Power to
postpone or
adjourn trial.

Ch. 60.

Procedure
relating to jurors.

Ch. 59.

CH.91 – 74] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

164. When a full jury have been sworn, the Registrar
or clerk of the court shall call the prisoner to the bar and,
addressing the members of the jury, shall state the
substance of the offences charged in the information and
shall say “to this information he has pleaded not guilty and
it is your charge to say, having heard the evidence, whether
he be guilty or not guilty”.

165. After the accused has been given in charge to
the jury or when the jury have been sworn, the counsel for
the prosecution may open the case against the accused, and
adduce evidence in support of the charge.

166. No witness who has not given evidence at the
preliminary inquiry shall be called by the prosecution at
any trial unless the accused person has received reasonable
notice in writing of the intention to call such witness.

Such notice must state the witness’s name and give
the substance of the evidence which he intends to give. It
shall be for the court to determine in any particular case
what notice is reasonable, regard being had to the time
when and the circumstances under which the prosecution
became acquainted with the nature of the witness’s
evidence and decided to call him as a witness:

Provided that when, under the provisions of section
120 of this Code, the plan of a surveyor or the report of a
medical practitioner or analyst has been tendered at the
preliminary inquiry it shall not be necessary for the
prosecution to give notice of the intention to call any such
surveyor, medical practitioner or analyst as a witness at the
trial of the information.

167. Subject to the provisions of the Evidence Act,
the witness called for the prosecution shall be subject to
cross-examination by the accused person or his counsel,
and to examination by the prosecution.

168. (1) Where any person has been committed for
trial for any offence, the deposition of any person taken
before the committing court may, if the conditions
hereinafter set out are satisfied, without further proof be
read as evidence on the trial of that person, whether for that
offence or for any other offence arising out of the same
transaction, or set of circumstances, as that offence. The
conditions hereinafter referred to are the following —

Case for the
prosecution.

Giving prisoner
in charge of the
jury.

Additional
witnesses for the
prosecution.

2 of 1987, s. 3.

Cross-
examination of
prosecution
witnesses.
Ch. 65.

Depositions may
be read in certain
cases.
6 of 2006, s. 32.

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(a) the deposition must be the deposition either —
(i) of a witness whose attendance at the trial

is stated to be unnecessary in accordance
with the provisions of section 131 of this
Code; or

(ii) of a witness who is proved to the
satisfaction of the court by evidence on
oath to be dead or so ill as not to be able to
travel, although there may be a prospect of
his recovery, or incapable in consequence
of his condition of mind of giving
evidence or of a witness who cannot be
found after all reasonable steps have been
taken to find him or who is absent from
The Bahamas and it is not reasonably
practicable to secure his attendance; or

(iii) of a witness who is proved to the
satisfaction of the court, by evidence on
oath, to be kept away by means of the
procurement of the accused or on his
behalf;

(b) the deposition must purport to be signed by the
magistrate before whom it purports to have been
taken;

(c) it must be proved at the trial either by a
certificate purporting to be signed by the
magistrate before whom the deposition purports
to have been taken or by the oath of a credible
witness that the deposition was taken in the
presence of the accused and that the accused or
his counsel had full opportunity of cross-
examining the witness:

Provided that the provisions of this section shall not
have effect in any case in which it is proved —
(i) that the deposition was not in fact signed by the

magistrate before whom it purports to have been
signed; or

(ii) that the deposition is that of a witness whose
attendance at the trial was stated to be
unnecessary as aforesaid, and the witness has
been duly notified subsequently that he is
required to attend the trial.

(2) If where the court is satisfied that the absence of a
witness whose deposition is sought to be admitted on that

6 of 2006, s. 32.

6 of 2006, s. 32.

CH.91 – 76] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

basis under subparagraph (a) (i) or (ii) of subsection (1) is
caused by or due to any improper motive connected with
the trial on the part of the deponent and, if that motive
exists, that there is any collusion between the deponent and
the party tendering the deposition in respect of the motive
that subsection shall not apply.

(3) If it is made to appear to the court that the
witness who made any deposition aforesaid may, within a
reasonable time be capable of attending to give evidence
and that the ends of justice require that the witness should
be examined personally before the jury the court may
postpone the trial on any terms it thinks just.

169. The statement or evidence (if any) of the
accused person duly recorded by or before the committing
court and whether signed by the accused person or not,
may be given in evidence without further proof thereof,
unless it is proved that the magistrate purporting to sign the
statement or evidence did not in fact sign it.

170. (1) When the evidence of the witnesses for the
prosecution has been concluded, and the statement or
evidence (if any) of the accused person before the
committing court has been given in evidence, the court, if
it considers that there is no evidence that the accused or
any one of several accused committed the offence, shall,
after hearing any arguments which the counsel for the
prosecution or the defence may desire to submit, record a
finding of not guilty.

(2) When the evidence of the witnesses for the
prosecution has been concluded, and the statement or
evidence (if any) of the accused person before the
committing court has been given in evidence, the court, if
it considers that there is evidence that the accused person,
or any one or more of several accused persons, committed
the offence, shall inform each such accused person of his
right to address the court, either personally or by his
counsel (if any), to give evidence on his own behalf, or to
make an unsworn statement, and to call witnesses in his
defence, and in all cases shall require him or his counsel to
state whether it is intended to call any witnesses as to fact
other than the accused person himself. Upon being
informed thereof, the judge shall record the same.

171. The accused person or his counsel may then
open his case, stating the facts or law on which he intends
to rely, and making such comments as he thinks necessary
on the evidence for the prosecution. The accused person

6 of 2006, s. 32.

Statement of
accused.

Close of case for
prosecution.

Case for the
defence.

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may then give evidence on his own behalf and he or his
counsel may call his witnesses (if any).

172. The accused person shall be allowed to examine
any witness not previously bound over to give evidence at
the trial if such witness is in attendance. If he apprehends
that any such witness will not attend the trial voluntarily,
he shall be entitled to apply for the issue of process to
compel such witness’s attendance.

173. (1) On a trial on information the accused person
shall not without the leave of the court adduce evidence in
support of an alibi unless, before the end of the prescribed
period, he gives notice of particulars of the alibi.

(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1), on any such
trial the accused person shall not without the leave of the
court call any other person to give evidence in support of
an alibi unless —

(a) the notice under subsection (1) includes the
name and address of the witness or, if the name
and address is not known to the accused person
at the time he gives the notice, any information
in his possession which might be of material
assistance in finding the witness;

(b) if the name and address is not included in that
notice, the court is satisfied that the accused
person, before giving the notice, took and
thereafter continued to take all reasonable steps
to secure that the name and address would be
ascertained;

(c) if the name and address is not included in that
notice, but the accused person subsequently
discovers the name or address or receives other
information which might be of material
assistance in finding the witness, he forthwith
gives notice of the name, address or other
information, as the case may be;

(d) if the accused person is notified by or on behalf
of the prosecutor that the witness has not been
traced by the name or at the address given, he
forthwith gives notice of any such information
which is then in his possession or, on
subsequently receiving any such information,
forthwith gives notice of it.

(3) The court shall not refuse leave under this
section if it appears to the court that the accused person

Additional
witnesses for the
defence.

Notice of alibi.
2 of 1977, s. 3.

CH.91 – 78] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

was not informed in accordance with the provisions of
section 123(4) of the requirements of this section.

(4) Any evidence tendered to disprove an alibi may,
subject to any directions by the court as to the time it is to
be given, be given before or after evidence is given in
support of the alibi.

(5) Any notice purporting to be given under this
section on behalf of the accused person by his counsel and
attorney shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to
be given with the authority of the accused person.

(6) A notice under subsection (1) shall either be
given in court during, or at the end of, the committal
proceedings before the magistrate or be given in writing to
the prosecutor, and a notice under subsection (2)(c) or (d)
shall be given in writing to the prosecutor.

(7) A notice required by this section to be given to
the prosecutor may be given by delivering it to the
Attorney-General or by leaving it at the Attorney-General’s
office, or by sending it by registered post addressed to the
Attorney-General at his office.

(8) In this section —
“evidence in support of an alibi” means evidence

tending to show that by reason of the presence
of the accused person at a particular place or in
a particular area at a particular time he was not,
or was unlikely to have been, at the place where
the offence is alleged to have been committed at
the time of its alleged commission;

“the prescribed period” means the period of 21 days
from the end of the committal proceedings
before the magistrate.

(9) In computing the prescribed period there shall
be disregarded any Saturday or Sunday or any day which is
a public holiday under the Public Holidays Act.

174. If an accused person who is not represented by
counsel does not call any witnesses as to fact in his
defence, he shall be entitled to address the court in his
defence, whether or not he has himself given evidence, but
counsel for the prosecution shall not be entitled to address
the court a second time.

175. If the accused person says that he does not
desire to call evidence and the court considers that there is
evidence on which he could be convicted of the offence,

Ch. 36.

When accused
unrepresented
calls no
evidence.

Where accused
adduces no
evidence.

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counsel on both sides or the accused person if he is
unrepresented may address the court.

176. When the accused person is represented by
counsel, or when he is not so represented but calls
witnesses as to fact in his defence, the counsel for the
prosecution shall be entitled to address the court a second
time and the counsel for the accused person, or the accused
person, where he is not represented by counsel but calls
witnesses as aforesaid, shall be entitled to address the court
after the counsel for the prosecution has made his address.

177. If the court is of the opinion that any witness
who is not called for the prosecution ought to be so called,
it may require the Crown to call him and, if the witness is
not in attendance, may make an order that his attendance
be procured and adjourn the further hearing of the case
until the witness attends, or may on the application of the
accused discharge the jury and postpone the trial.

178. The court shall have power in its discretion at
any stage of the trial, prior to the conclusion of the
summing up, to call any witness, whether or not such
witness has been called before the court in the course of the
trial or not, and to examine such witness. If a witness for
the Crown is recalled by the court or by leave of the court,
the accused or his counsel shall be allowed to cross-
examine him on the new evidence given. In any other case
a witness called under the provisions of this section may
only be cross-examined by either party with the leave of
the court.

179. When the case on both sides is closed the judge
shall, as necessary, sum up the law and the evidence in the
case.

180. After the summing up, the jury shall consider
their verdict.

181. The verdict, when returned by the jury and
accepted by the court, shall be entered by the Registrar on
the back of the information, or on a sheet of paper annexed
thereto, before the jury are discharged.

182. If the jury find the accused not guilty, he shall
be immediately discharged from custody on that
information.

183. If the accused person is convicted, or if the
accused pleads guilty, the Registrar shall ask him if he has
anything to say why sentence should not be passed upon
him according to law, but the omission so to ask him shall
have no effect upon the validity of the proceedings.

Order of
speeches.

Court may
require witness to
be called.

Recalling a
witness.

Summing up by
the judge.

Consideration of
verdict by jury.

Recording of
verdict.

Verdict of not
guilty.

Calling upon the
accused.

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184. (1) The accused person may at any time before
sentence, whether on his plea or otherwise, move in arrest
of judgment on the ground that the information does not,
after any amendment which the court is willing and has
power to make, state any offence which the court has
power to try.

(2) The court may, in its discretion, either hear and
determine the matter during the same sitting or adjourn the
hearing thereof to a future date to be fixed for that purpose.

(3) If the court decides in favour of the accused he
shall be discharged from that information.

185. The court may, before passing sentence, receive
such evidence as it thinks fit in order to inform itself as to
the sentence proper to be passed and may hear counsel on
any mitigating or other circumstances which may be
relevant.

186. (1) If no motion in arrest of judgment is made,
or if the court decides against the accused person upon
such motion, the court may thereupon sentence the accused
person or may remand him in custody or, in its discretion,
discharge him on his own recognisance, or on that of such
sureties as the court may think fit, or both, to appear and
receive judgment at the same or some future sitting of the
court or when called upon.

(2) The judgment or sentence of the court shall take
effect from the beginning of the day on which it is imposed
or given, unless the court otherwise directs.

187. The judgment or sentence of the court shall be
entered by the Registrar on the back of the information or
on a sheet of paper annexed thereto.

188. No judgment shall be stayed or reversed on the
ground of any objection, which, if stated after the
information was read over to the accused person, or during
the progress of the trial, might have been amended by the
court, nor for any informality in swearing the witnesses or
any of them.

189. The proper time for making objections at a trial
on the grounds of improper admission or rejection of
evidence, or any irregularity or informality in the
proceedings (other than defects in the information) shall be
as follows —

Motion in arrest
of judgment.

Evidence for
arriving at
proper sentence.

Sentence.

15 of 1996, s. 78
and Second Sch.

25 of 1996, s. 3

Recording of
judgment.

Objections cured
by verdict.

Time for raising
objections.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(a) if the objection is to admission or rejection of
evidence, at the time of such admission or
rejection;

(b) if the irregularity or informality occurs before
the verdict, objection shall be made before
verdict;

(c) if the irregularity or informality occurs in the
giving of the verdict or at any time before
sentence is pronounced, the objection shall be
made before sentence is pronounced,

and the court shall so far as possible correct any
irregularity or informality which occurs in the proceedings
and may direct the trial to be recommenced, for this
purpose, at any stage before the verdict is given:

Provided that nothing in this section shall be
construed as being in derogation of any powers conferred
upon the Court of Appeal to entertain any appeal in the
exercise of its criminal jurisdiction under the Court of
Appeal Act.

190. (1) The Registrar shall cause to be preserved all
informations and all depositions filed with or transmitted to
him, and he shall keep a book, to be called the Crown
Book, and such book shall be the property of the court and
shall be deemed a record thereof.

(2) In the Crown Book the Registrar shall enter the
name of the judge and a memorandum of the substance of
all the proceedings at every trial and of the result of every
trial:

Provided that nothing herein contained shall dispense
with the taking of notes by the judge presiding at the trial.

(3) Any erroneous or defective entry in the Crown
Book may at any time be amended by the judge in
accordance with the fact.

(4) The information, the plea or pleas thereto, the
verdict and the judgment or sentence of the court shall
form and constitute the record of the proceedings in each
case and shall be kept and preserved in the office of the
Registrar, as of record.

Ch. 52.

Minute of
proceedings in
trial before
Supreme Court.

CH.91 – 82] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

PART VII
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS RELATING TO

PERSONS TRIED BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT
191. Where in any information any act or omission is

charged against any person as an offence and it is given in
evidence on his trial for that offence that he was insane so
as not to be responsible, according to law, for his actions at
the time when the act was done or omission made, then, if
it appears to the jury before whom he is tried that he did
the act or made the omission charged but was insane as
aforesaid at the time when he did or made the same, the
jury shall return a special verdict that the accused was
guilty of the act or omission charged against him, but was
insane as aforesaid at the time when he did the act or made
the omission.

192. (1) Where any person is found to be insane
before or upon arraignment, in accordance with the
provisions of subsection (2) of section 155 of this Code, or
a special verdict is found against him under the provisions
of section 191 of this Code, the court shall order him to be
conveyed to any hospital or other place for the time being
appointed under any law to be a public lunatic asylum or
for the reception of criminal lunatics, there to be kept until
discharged by order of the Governor-General.

(2) Whenever any convict shall be sent to any
hospital or other place under the provisions of this section,
it shall be lawful for the Minister of Health and the officers
of such hospital or place to exercise all and singular the
same and the like powers and authorities for the restraint
and punishment of such convict as can by law be exercised
by or are vested in the visiting committee, the gaoler and
other officers of the prison in New Providence.

(3) The Governor-General may from time to time
issue all necessary orders for the care, control and custody
of any such lunatic convict.

(4) All persons acting under this section shall have the
same and the like protection, in all respects as is given to
magistrates under the Magistrates Act or any law
repealing and replacing the same.

Special verdict
where accused
found guilty, but
insane at date of
offence charged.

Provision for
custody of
accused person
found insane.

Ch. 54.

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193. Whenever any insane person detained in custody
under the provisions of section 192 of this Code shall be
removed from The Bahamas to any lunatic asylum in any
other part of the Commonwealth by virtue of and under the
authority and direction of a warrant issued under the Act of
the Parliament of the United Kingdom entitled the Colonial
Prisoners Removal Act, 1884, it shall be lawful for the
Governor-General to defray out of the Treasury by warrant
in the usual manner all expenses incurred in the removal of
such insane person, and for the future maintenance of such
person in any lunatic asylum in the Commonwealth to
which such person may be conveyed by virtue of the
above-mentioned warrant, and of his return therefrom
should such an event take place.

194. In any case in which it appears to the Supreme
Court that an accused person committed for trial has not
money wherewith to retain counsel —

(a) if the accused is charged with an offence for
which the punishment is death, the court shall
assign counsel for the defence at public expense;
and

(b) in any other case, the court, in its discretion may
assign counsel for the defence at public expense.

PART VIII
PROCEDURE IN TRIALS BEFORE

MAGISTRATES’ COURTS
195. If, in any case which a magistrate’s court has

jurisdiction to hear and determine, the accused person
appears at the time and place appointed in the summons for
the hearing of the case, or is brought before the court under
arrest, then, if the complainant, having had notice of the
time and place appointed for the hearing of the charge,
does not appear, either in person or by a legal practitioner
or other person authorised to represent him, the court shall
dismiss the charge, unless for some reason the court shall
think proper to adjourn the hearing of the case to some
other date, upon such terms as it shall think fit, in which
event it may, pending such adjourned hearing, either admit
the accused to bail or remand him in custody, or take such
security for his appearance as the court shall think fit.

Expenses for the
removal abroad
of lunatic
convicts.

Counsel for
defence to be
assigned in
certain cases.

47 & 48 Vict. c.
31.

Non-appearance
of complainant
at trial.

CH.91 – 84] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

196. If at the same time and place of hearing
appointed in the summons the defendant does not appear,
and it be proved on oath that the summons was duly served
a reasonable time before the time appointed for his
appearance, and if the court is satisfied on any sufficient
evidence that the accused has wilfully refused to attend and
has not consented to the trial taking place in his absence,
the court may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant
in accordance with the provisions of section 67 of this
Code and may adjourn the trial to some other date.

197. If at the time and place appointed for a trial
under this Part of this Code neither party appears, the court
may dismiss or adjourn the case as shall seem fit.

198. At the time and place appointed for any
adjourned hearing, a magistrate’s court shall have the same
powers to proceed with, dismiss or adjourn the case as if
the complainant was before the court for the first time:

Provided that the court shall not proceed with the
case in the absence of the accused person unless it is
satisfied that in all the circumstances of the case such
person has consented to the trial taking place in his
absence.

199. (1) If both parties appear, the court shall proceed
to hear the case, and the substance of the charge or
complaint shall be read to the accused person by the court
and he shall be asked whether he admits or denies the truth
of the charge.

(2) In a case in which the defendant is corporation,
it shall be sufficient if the corporation appears by a
representative appointed in like manner to that provided by
subsection (2) of section 148 of this Code.

200. If the accused person admits the truth of the
charge, his admission shall be recorded as nearly as
possible in the words used by him and the court shall
convict him and pass sentence upon or make an order
against him unless, after hearing anything which may be
said by or on behalf of the accused, whether in mitigation
or otherwise, there shall appear to the court to be sufficient
cause to the contrary.

When neither
party appears.

Courts to have
the same powers
at adjourned
hearing as at first
hearing.

Non-appearance
of defendant at
trial.

Appearance of
both parties.

If accused pleads
guilty.

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201. If the accused person pleads not guilty, the court
shall proceed to try the case as hereinafter provided. If the
accused person refuses to plead, the court shall direct that a
plea of not guilty be entered for him, or, in an appropriate
case, may act in accordance with section 99 of this Code.

202. If the accused person does not admit the truth of
the charge, the court shall proceed to hear the witnesses for
the prosecution. The accused person or his counsel may
cross-examine each witness called by the prosecution and
if the accused person is not represented by a legal
practitioner, the court shall, at the close of the examination
of each witness for the prosecution, ask the accused person
whether he wishes to put any question to that witness and
shall record his answer.

203. At the close of the evidence in support of the
charge, the court shall consider whether or not a sufficient
case is made out against the accused person to require him
to make a defence, and if the court considers that such a
case is not made out the charge shall be dismissed and the
accused forthwith acquitted and discharged.

204. (1) At the close of the evidence in support of the
charge, if it appears to the court that a case is made out
against the accused person sufficiently to require him to
make a defence, the court shall again explain the substance
of the charge to the accused and shall inform him that he
has a right to give evidence on oath from the witness box
and that, if he does so, he will be liable to cross-
examination, or to make a statement not on oath from the
dock, in which case he will not be liable to cross-
examination; and the court shall ask him whether he has
any witnesses to examine or other evidence to adduce in
his defence, and shall then hear the accused and his
witnesses (if any).

(2) If the accused person states that he has witnesses
to call but that they are not present in court, and the court is
satisfied that the absence of such witnesses is not due to
any fault or neglect of the accused person and that there is
a likelihood that they could, if present, give material
evidence on behalf of the accused person, the court may
adjourn the trial and issue process or take other steps, as
necessary, to compel the attendance of such witnesses.

Pleas in other
cases.

Procedure after
plea of not guilty.

Acquittal of
accused person if
no case to
answer.

The defence.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

205. If the accused person adduces evidence in his
defence introducing new matter which the prosecutor
could not reasonably have foreseen, the court may allow

the prosecutor to adduce evidence in reply to rebut such
new matter.

206. The provisions of sections 174 and 176 shall
mutatis mutandis apply in relation to the opening and
closing of the case for the prosecution and defence in trials
before the magistrates’ courts as they apply in respect of a
trial before the Supreme Court.

207. Subject to the provisions of this Code, the
provisions of the Evidence Act shall apply to all matters of
evidence and the examination and cross-examination of
witnesses in trials in magistrates’ courts.

208. (1) Where, at any stage of a trial before the close
of the case for the prosecution, it appears to the court that
the charge is defective, either in substance or in form, the
court may make such order for the alteration or addition of
a new charge, as the court thinks necessary to meet the
circumstances of the case:

Provided that where a charge is altered, added or
substituted as aforesaid, the court shall thereupon call upon
the accused person to plead to the altered or new charge:

Provided further that in such case the accused person
shall be entitled, if he so wishes, to have the witnesses (or
any of them) recalled to give evidence afresh or to be
further cross-examined by the defence and, in such last-
mentioned event, the prosecution shall have the right to re-
examine any such witness on matters arising out of such
further cross-examination.

(2) Variance between a charge and the evidence
adduced in support of it with respect to the day upon which
the alleged offence is committed is not ordinarily material
and the charge need not be amended for such variance if it
is proved that the proceedings were in fact instituted within
the time (if any) limited by law for the institution thereof
and the actual date is not material on any other ground.

Evidence in
reply.

Opening and
closing of cases
for prosecution
and defence.

2 of 1987, s. 4.

General
provisions with
respect to
evidence in
magistrates’
courts.

Amendment of
charge and
variance between
charge and
evidence.

Ch. 65.

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(3) Where an alteration, addition or substitution of a
charge is made under subsection (1) of this section or there
is a variance between the evidence and the charge as
described in subsection (2) of this section, the court shall,
if it is of the opinion that the accused has been thereby
misled, or deceived, adjourn the trial for such period as
may be reasonably necessary in the interest of justice.

209. The court, having heard both the prosecutor and
the accused person and their witnesses, shall either convict
the accused and pass sentence upon or make an order
against him according to law or shall acquit him, or may
without proceeding to conviction, if it is of the opinion that
it is not expedient to inflict any punishment
notwithstanding that it finds the charge against the accused
is proved, make an order discharging the accused
absolutely or conditionally.

210. If the court convicts the accused person, a
minute or memorandum thereof shall be then made and the
conviction shall afterwards be drawn up by the presiding
magistrate in proper form under his hand and seal.

211. If the court acquits the accused person, the
magistrate shall, when requested to do so, make an order
for the dismissal of the charge and give the accused person
a certificate thereof which shall, without further proof, be a
bar to any subsequent charge for the same matter against
the same person.

212. Where pursuant to section 107 the judgment in a
criminal trial is read by a magistrate other than the
magistrate who heard and determined the matter and
prepared the judgment, the Magistrate who has read the
judgment shall draw up the conviction in conformity with
the judgment, sign the minute or memorandum required by
section 210 and, if requested to do so, exercise the powers
conferred by section 211.

213. Except where a longer time is specially allowed
by law, no offence which is triable summarily shall be
triable by a magistrate’s court unless the charge or
complaint relating to it is laid within six months from the
time when the matter of such complaint or charge arose:

The decision of
the court.

Drawing up
conviction.

Acquittal of
accused person to
bar further
proceedings.

Magistrate to
conform with
sections 210 and
211.
9 of 1992, s. 5.

Limitation of
time for
proceedings for
summary
offences.

CH.91 – 88] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Provided that if the circumstances giving rise to the
complaint or charge occurred upon a vessel upon the high
seas, then the court shall have jurisdiction in respect
thereof if the complaint or charge was laid within six
months after the arrival of the vessel at her port of
discharge in The Bahamas.

214. (1) Where a person charged with an offence
referred to in the Third Schedule to this Code is brought
before a magistrate’s court presided over by the Chief
Magistrate, by a Deputy Chief Magistrate, by a Senior
Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrate or by a stipendiary and
circuit magistrate, the court shall inform the accused
person that he may be tried summarily for such offence but
that he has the right to be tried for that offence by jury
before the Supreme Court, and shall ask him whether he
wishes to be tried by jury or consents to be tried summarily
by such magistrate; and if the accused person does not
consent to be tried summarily, the presiding magistrate
shall either remit the case to some other magistrate to hold
a preliminary inquiry or may himself hold such preliminary
inquiry in respect of the charge, in accordance with the
provisions of this Code.

(2) If, in a case such as is referred to in subsection
(1) of this section, the accused person consents to be tried
summarily in respect of such offence, the Chief Magistrate,
Deputy Chief Magistrate, Senior Stipendiary and Circuit
Magistrate or stipendiary and circuit magistrate may
proceed to hear and determine the charge in accordance
with the provisions of this Part of this Code:

Provided that —
(a) if the presiding magistrate does not consider it

expedient in the interest of justice to deal with
any such particular case summarily, he may
refuse to do so and in such a case a preliminary
inquiry shall be held as aforesaid; and

(b) the presiding magistrate shall not in any case
proceed to hear and determine summarily a
charge against any person which may be tried on
information, if the Attorney-General in writing
directs that the case shall not be tried summarily.

Procedure in case
where accused
person has right
to trial by
Supreme Court.

25 of 1996, s. 4.

25 of 1996, s. 4.

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215. Without the derogation from the provisions of
section 214 of this Code, if, before or during the course of
a trial before a magistrate’s court, in any case which may
be tried summarily or on information, it appears to the
magistrate that the case is one which ought to be tried by
the Supreme Court, whether or not upon application made
by the prosecution or the accused person, the magistrate
may stay all further proceedings in respect of the trial of
the matter as a summary offence and in lieu thereof may
hold a preliminary inquiry in accordance with the
provisions of this Code, and in such case the provisions of
section 126 of this Code shall not apply.

216. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this
Code, but subject to the provisions of any directions given
by the Chief Justice under the provisions of subsection (1)
of section 105 of this Code, a magistrate may in any case in
which the accused person admits the offence, record the
proceedings in accordance with the provisions of this
section.

(2) In a case to which this section applies, it shall be
sufficient compliance with the requirements of this Code
relating to the manner of recording of evidence if the
magistrate, when the accused makes a statement admitting
the truth of the charge, instead of recording the accused
person’s statement in full, enters in the record a plea of
guilty, and it shall be sufficient compliance with the
provisions of section 108 of this Code relating to the
contents of the judgment, if the judgment of the court
consists only of the finding, the specific offence to which it
relates and the sentence or other order:

Provided that a magistrate may be required by the
Supreme Court to state in writing the reasons for his
decision in any particular case.

217. Where a magistrate’s court convicts a person
and orders him to be imprisoned without the option of a
fine, the court shall, by warrant, commit him to prison,
there to be imprisoned or imprisoned and kept at hard
labour (as the case may be) for the period mentioned in the
warrant.

218. (1) In any case in which a magistrate’s court
presided over by the Chief Magistrate, a Deputy Chief
Magistrate, a Senior Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrate or
a stipendiary and circuit magistrate, in exercise of the

Power of
magistrate in
cases triable both
summarily and
on information.

Special
procedure in
minor cases
where the charge
is admitted.

Where court
awards
imprisonment
without option of
fine, prisoner
shall be
committed to
prison.
Committal to
Supreme Court
for sentences in
certain cases.
25 of 1996, s. 5.

CH.91 – 90] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

jurisdiction conferred by section 214 of this Code, has
convicted any person charged with an indictable offence
and such magistrate is of the opinion, having regard to the
character and antecedents of the person so convicted, that
greater punishment should be inflicted than he has power
to impose, the magistrate, instead of passing sentence in
accordance with this Part of this Code, may commit such
convicted person in custody for sentence to the Supreme
Court either at any sessions then in progress or at the next
convenient sessions.

(2) In any such case as is referred to in subsection
(1) of this section, the Supreme Court may proceed to
sentence the accused person or may exercise any other
powers vested in it as if the person so committed had
pleaded guilty before the Supreme Court to that offence or
had been found guilty by verdict of a jury:

Provided that the Supreme Court shall not sentence
any person, or exercise any other power, under this
subsection in any case until the time limited by section 235
of this Code for an appeal against conviction has expired
or, in the event of a notice of appeal being served within
that time, until that appeal has been finally determined.

(3) In a case referred to in this section, it shall not
be necessary for any information to be filed against the
person so committed for sentence and the accused person
shall be sentenced or otherwise dealt with for the offence
in respect of which he has pleaded guilty or been convicted
as aforesaid.

219. (1) Where a conviction adjudges a fine to be
paid and the amount thereof is not paid forthwith, the
court, unless time is allowed for the payment of the fine,
may issue a distress warrant under the hand and seal of a
magistrate.

(2) In any case in which time is allowed for the
payment of a fine and the fine is unpaid at the expiration of
such time, a distress warrant may be issued in like manner
to that provided in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) In all cases in which a distress warrant has been
issued against any person and such person pays or tenders
to the officer having the execution of the same the sum or
sums specified in the warrant, together with the amount

32 of 1971, s. 2.

Issue of distress
warrant in
respect of unpaid
fine.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

lawfully payable in respect of the expenses of the distress
up to the time of such payment or tender, the officer shall
cease to execute the same.

220. In all cases where a magistrate issues a warrant
of distress, he may suffer the defendant to go at large, or by
a written warrant in that behalf, may order him to be kept
in safe custody until return has been made to the warrant of
distress, unless the defendant gives sufficient security by
recognisance or otherwise, to the satisfaction of the
magistrate, for his appearance before him at the time and
place appointed for the return of the warrant of distress.

221. If at the time and place appointed for the return
of any warrant of distress, the officer who has execution of
the same returns that he could find no goods whereon to
levy, the magistrate shall issue his warrant of commitment
directed to the same, or any other peace officer, reciting
shortly the conviction, the issuing of the distress warrant,
and the return thereto, and requiring the officer to convey
the defendant to prison, and there to deliver him to the
keeper thereof, requiring the keeper to receive the person
into such prison, and there to imprison him or imprison
him and keep him to hard labour (as the case may be) in
the manner and for the time prescribed by subsection (5) of
section 118 of the Penal Code, unless and until the sum or
sums adjudged to be paid, and all costs and charges of the
distress and also all costs and charges of the commitment,
if the magistrate thinks fit so to order (the amount thereof
being ascertained and stated in such commitment), be paid.

222. In all cases in which any person is imprisoned
for non-payment of any fine, he may pay or cause to be
paid to the keeper of the prison in which he is confined the
sum or sums in the warrant of commitment mentioned,
together with the amount of the costs, charges and
expenses therein mentioned; and the keeper shall receive
the same, and shall thereupon discharge the prisoner if he
be in his custody for no other matter.

223. A magistrate by whose conviction any sum is
adjudged to be paid may do all or any of the following
things —

(a) order imprisonment in the first instance unless
such sum be paid forthwith;

When distress
warrant issued
magistrate may
allow defendant
to go at large or
detain him,
unless defendant
gives security for
his reappearance.

Where return is
nulla bona
magistrate may
commit the
defendant.

Defendant who
pays after
commitment to
be discharged on
payment.

Powers of
magistrate when
imposing a fine.

Ch. 84.

CH.91 – 92] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) allow time for the payment of the said sum;
(c) direct payment to be made of the said sum by

instalments;
(d) direct that the person liable to pay the said sum

shall be at liberty to give, to the satisfaction of
that magistrate or such person as may be
specified by him, security, with or without a
surety or sureties, for the payment of the said
sum or of any instalment thereof, and such
security may be given and enforced in manner
provided by this Code;

(e) issue a warrant of distress for the levying of the
said sum;

(f) order imprisonment in default of sufficient
distress or of the payment of any instalment.

224. Where a sum is directed to be paid by
instalments, and default is made in the payment of any one
instalment, the same proceedings may be taken as if default
had been made in payment forthwith of the full amount of
the fine or such amount as remains unpaid.

225. A magistrate directing the payment of a sum, or
of an instalment of a sum, may direct such payment to be
made at such time or times, and in such place or places,
and to such person or persons, as may be specified by the
court; and every person to whom any such sum or
instalment is paid, when not the clerk of the court, shall, as
soon as may be, account for and pay over the same to the
proper officer of the court.

226. A magistrate to whom application is made either
to issue a warrant of distress, or for any endorsement
thereon for any sum adjudged to be paid on a conviction or
to issue a warrant for committing a person to prison for
non-payment of a sum of money adjudged to be paid on a
conviction, or default of sufficient distress to satisfy any
such sum, may, if he deem it expedient so to do, postpone
the issue of such warrant until such time and on such
conditions (if any) as to him shall seem just.

227. Where any person has been summarily convicted
and has been sentenced to pay a fine and it shall be shown to
the court that there is any sum of money in the hands of a third
person, which is due and payable by such third

On default of
payment of
instalment
process to issue
for the whole.

Mode of
payment by
instalments.

Magistrate may
postpone issue of
warrant of
distress or
commitment.

Power of
magistrate to
order attachment
of debts due to
person sentenced
to pay a fine.

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person to the person so convicted as aforesaid, the court
may order such third person to pay such sum of money, or
such part thereof as will be sufficient to satisfy the said
fine, to such person or persons as would be by law entitled
to receive payment of the fine, in such manner and form as
a garnishee may be compelled to pay over money in his
hands for the satisfaction of a judgment debt under any law
relating to civil actions.

228. (1) Every magistrate’s court shall without delay
forward to the Registrar, through the Chief Magistrate, a
monthly return, under the hand of the magistrate, of all
proceedings had before the court under this Part of this
Code.

(2) Where required by the Supreme Court, a
magistrate shall forward to such court without delay a
complete copy of the record in respect of any proceedings
forming the basis of a return under subsection (1) for the
purpose of enabling the court to satisfy itself as to the
correctness, legality and propriety of any finding, sentence
or order recorded or passed and as to the regularity of any
such proceedings.

(3) Notwithstanding section 263 of this Code,
subsections (1) and (2) of this section apply mutatis
mutandis as respects proceedings had before a juvenile
court under the Children and Young Persons
(Administration of Justice) Act, as if references in those
subsections —

(a) to a magistrate’s court, were references to a
juvenile court; and

(b) to a magistrate, were references to the magistrate
sitting as chairman of the juvenile court.

229. (1) In the case of any proceedings a copy of the
record of which has been required under the provisions of
section 228 of this Code, when it appears that in such
proceedings an error material to the merits of any case or
involving a miscarriage of justice has occurred, the
Supreme Court may review any finding, sentence or order
recorded or passed in such proceedings and in so doing
may have and exercise all the powers of the court on
hearing appeals under the provisions of section 248 of this
Code.

(2) No order under this section shall be made unless
the Attorney-General has had an opportunity of being
heard and no order shall be made to the prejudice of an

Return of
proceedings.
25 of 1996, s. 6.

Ch. 97.

Power of
Supreme Court
on revision.

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accused person unless he has had an opportunity of being
heard, either personally or by counsel, in his own defence.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to
authorise the Supreme Court to convert a finding of
acquittal into one of conviction.

(4) On dealing with a case under this section the
Supreme Court, pending the final determination of the
case, may release any convicted person on bail:

Provided that if the convicted person is ultimately
sentenced to imprisonment, the time he has spent on bail
shall be excluded in computing the period for which he is
sentenced.

(5) Save as provided in this section, no party has
any right to be heard either personally or by counsel before
the Supreme Court when exercising its powers of revision:

Provided that such court may, if it thinks fit, when
exercising such powers, hear any party either personally or
by a legal practitioner, and nothing in this subsection shall
be deemed to affect the provisions of subsection (2) of this
section.

(6) When a case is revised by the Supreme Court
under the provisions of this section, it shall certify its
decision or order to the court by which the finding,
sentence or order so revised was recorded or passed and
the court to which the decision or order is so certified shall
thereupon make such orders as are conformable to the
decisions so certified, and, if necessary, the record shall be
amended in accordance therewith.

230. (1) With the leave of the court and
notwithstanding any other provisions in this Part of this
Code, the prosecutor may at any time before a final order is
made, in any case triable summarily and in which the
accused person has pleaded not guilty, withdraw the
complaint.

(2) On any withdrawal as aforesaid —
(a) where the withdrawal is made after the accused

person is called upon to make his defence, the
court shall acquit the accused;

(b) where the withdrawal is made before the accused
person is called upon for his defence, the court
shall, subject to the provisions of section 203 of
this Code, in its discretion make one of the
following orders —

Withdrawal of
complaint.

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(i) an order acquitting the accused; or
(ii) an order discharging the accused.

(3) An order discharging the accused under paragraph
(b)(ii) of subsection (2) of this section shall not operate as a
bar to subsequent proceedings against the accused person on
account of the same facts.

PART IX
APPEALS FROM MAGISTRATES’ COURTS AND

CASES STATED
231. (1) Save as hereinafter in this Code provided, any

person who is dissatisfied with any judgment, sentence or
order of a magistrate’s court in any criminal cause or matter
to which he is a party, may appeal against such judgment,
sentence or order.

(2) Subject to subsection (1) of this section, an appeal
to the Supreme Court may be on a matter of fact as well as on
a matter of law.

(3) For the purposes of any appeal, the Attorney-
General shall be deemed to be a party to any criminal cause
or matter other than those in which the proceedings were
instituted and carried on as a private prosecution and in which
the conduct of such proceedings has not been taken over by
the Attorney-General under the provisions of section 56 of
this Code.

(4) For the purposes of this Part, “Registrar” means
the Registrar of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal
respectively, to which an appeal lies.

232. When any person is convicted by a magistrate’s
court, the magistrate shall inform him, at the time when the
sentence is passed, of his right of appeal and the steps
which must be taken by a party wishing to appeal and a
note shall be made at the time by the magistrate that such
information has been given by him to such person and such
note shall be conclusive as to the provisions of this section
having been complied with.

233. No appeal shall be allowed in a case in which
the accused person has pleaded guilty and has been
convicted by a magistrate’s court on such plea, except as to
the extent or legality of the sentence.

234. Appeals from magistrate’s courts, filed under this
Part of this Code after the coming into operation of this
section shall lie —

2 of 1989, s. 3.

Appeals from
decisions of
magistrates’
courts.

21 of 2004.

Magistrate to
inform accused
person of right of
appeal.

Limitations on
right of appeal.

Courts to which
appeals lie.

25 of 1996, s. 7.

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(a) where the case has been heard by the Chief
Magistrate, a Deputy Chief Magistrate, a Senior
Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrate, a stipendiary
and circuit magistrate or a circuit justice on circuit
and the case relates to an offence referred to in the
Third Schedule or an offence for which the
offender is liable to imprisonment for a period of
not less than one year, to the Court of Appeal;

(b) subject to paragraph (a) of this section, where the
case has been heard by the Chief Magistrate, a
Deputy Chief Magistrate, a Senior Stipendiary and
Circuit Magistrate, a stipendiary and circuit
magistrate or a circuit justice on circuit, exercising
original jurisdiction, to the Supreme Court; and

(c) in all other cases, to the Chief Magistrate, a
Deputy Chief Magistrate, a Senior Stipendiary and
Circuit Magistrate, a stipendiary and circuit
magistrate or a circuit justice on circuit:

Provided that in any case where appeal is by way of
case stated such appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court.

235. (1) An appeal shall have the effect of suspending
the execution of the decision appealed against until the appeal
shall have been determined, and shall be on motion or by case
stated as hereafter in this Code provided:

Provided that where the decision involves a sentence of
imprisonment, the filing of an appeal shall not require that the
convicted person be released from custody except in
accordance with the provisions of section 238 of this Code:

Provided further that where the decision involves –
(a) the payment of a fine in respect of an offence

specified in Part I of the First Schedule, no licence
or renewal of licence to drive a motor vehicle shall
be granted; or

(b) the cancellation or suspension of any licence to
drive a motor vehicle, such licence shall be
deemed cancelled or suspended,

until the fine is paid or the appeal is determined
whichever is the earlier, unless a court shall otherwise
direct upon application made by the appellant.

Appeal to
operate as a stay.

31 of 2008, s. 2.



First Schedule.

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(2) An appellant, within seven days after the day
upon which the decision was given from which the appeal
is made, shall serve a notice in writing, signed by the
appellant or his counsel, on the other party and on the
magistrate’s court of his intention to appeal and of the
general grounds of his appeal:

Provided that any person aggrieved by the decision
of a magistrate’s court may upon notice to the other party
apply to the court to which an appeal from such decision
lies, for leave to extend the time within which such notice
of appeal prescribed by this subsection may be served, and
the court upon the hearing of such application may extend
such time as it deems fit.


236. Repealed by 16 of 2000.

237. (1) When an appeal relates to a case which has

been tried by the Chief Magistrate, Deputy Chief
Magistrate, Senior Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrate, or a
stipendiary and circuit magistrate or a circuit justice on
circuit, the magistrate’s court shall without delay transmit
to the Registrar a copy of the conviction, order or judgment
and all papers relating to the appeal and, if the appellant is
represented by counsel, such counsel shall not less than
three days prior to the date of the hearing of the appeal
serve upon the Registrar and the respondent a notice
containing particulars of the matters of law or fact in
regard to which the magistrate’s court is alleged to have
erred.

(2) In a case in which an appeal relates to a case
which does not fall within the scope of subsection (1) of
this section, the magistrate’s court concerned shall without
delay notify the Chief Magistrate, Deputy Chief
Magistrate, Senior Stipendiary and Circuit Magistrate, or
any stipendiary and circuit magistrate appointed from time
to time for hearing such appeals, in accordance with any
directions given by the Chief Justice, and shall at the same
time transmit a copy of the conviction, order or judgment
and all papers relating to the appeal to the Chief
Magistrate, Deputy Chief Magistrate, Senior Stipendiary
and Circuit Magistrate, or such stipendiary and circuit
magistrate, unless, in the case of an Out Island, by reason
of the pending arrival of the Circuit Justice in such Out
Island, where there would be convenience in handing such
copy and papers to such Circuit Justice on arrival.

Transmission of
appeal papers.
25 of 1996, s. 8.

25 of 1996, s. 8

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238. (1)Where any person who has been convicted
and sentenced to a term of imprisonment gives notice in
accordance with the provisions of this Code of his intention
to appeal against the conviction or sentence, he may make
application to the magistrate’s court by which he was so
convicted or the court to which the appeal lies, for bail and
that application shall be subject to the provisions of the
Bail Act, 1994.

(2) Where the appellant is released on bail or the
sentence is suspended pending an appeal, any time during
which he is at large after being released or during which
the sentence has been suspended shall be excluded in
computing the term of any sentence to which he is subject:

Provided that in the case of an appellant whose
sentence is suspended but who is not released from
custody, the court hearing the appeal shall order that the
time so spent in custody awaiting the hearing of the appeal
shall be included in computing the term of the sentence.

(3) An appellant whose sentence is suspended but
who is not admitted to bail, shall, during the period in
custody during such suspension, be treated in the same
manner as a prisoner awaiting trial.

239. In all cases of appeal by way of case stated, the
appellant shall, within the times and in the manner and
form hereinbefore prescribed, serve a notice of appeal and
shall within fourteen days after the day on which the
magistrate’s court gave the decision from which the appeal
is made apply to such court to state a case for the purposes
of the appeal, setting forth the facts of the case and the
grounds on which the proceeding is questioned and the
grounds of the court’s decision.

240. A magistrate may refuse to state a case if he
considers the matter is frivolous, and shall on request
deliver to the appellant a certificate of refusal, and
thereupon the appellant may apply to the Supreme Court
for an order requiring the case to be stated:

Provided that the magistrate shall not refuse to state a
case where the application for that purpose is made to him
by or under the directions of the Attorney-General.

241. (1) The magistrate concerned, upon receiving
the application of the appellant or an order of the Supreme
Court in that behalf, as the case may be, shall, subject to
section 240 of this Code, state the case concisely setting
forth such facts and documents (if any) as may be

Admission of
appellant to bail.

18 of 1994, s. 7.

Case stated.

16 of 2000.

When magistrate
refuses to state
case.

Duty of
magistrates’
court as to case
stated.

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necessary to enable the court to decide the questions raised
in the case, and shall forthwith transmit the same together
with a copy of the conviction, order or judgment appealed
from and all documents alluded to in the stated case to the
Registrar who, on application of either party, shall supply
such applicant with a copy of the stated case, on payment
for the same at the rate of two cents per folio.

(2) A case stated under the provisions of this
section, in addition to any other matter which appears to
the magistrate to be relevant, shall set out —

(a) the charges, summons, information or complaint
in respect of which the proceedings arose;

(b) the facts found by the magistrate’s court to be
admitted or proved;

(c) any submission of law made by or on behalf of
the complainant during the trial or inquiry;

(d) any submission of law made by or on behalf of
the accused person during the trial or inquiry;

(e) the finding and, in the case of conviction, the
sentence of the magistrate’s court;

(f) any question of law which the magistrate or any
of the parties desires to be submitted for the
opinion of the Supreme Court; and

(g) any question of law which the Attorney-General
may require to be submitted for the opinion of
the Supreme Court.

242. On an appeal by motion the appellant, on
serving notice on the magistrate’s court of his intention to
appeal, shall be entitled to receive with all convenient
speed a copy of the evidence taken by the court in the case,
and also a copy of the conviction, order or judgment made
or given.

243. The Registrar shall in either case set the appeal
down for argument on such day, and shall cause notice of
the same to be published in such manner, as the court may
direct.

244. On an appeal by motion, unless the court
considers the justice of the case requires a re-hearing, the
appellant shall begin, and, unless he satisfies the court that
it is necessary to call on the respondent, the conviction,
order or judgment shall be confirmed:

Provided that, if the court directs a re-hearing, the
respondent, if the issue is with him, shall begin and prove

Appellant
entitled to copies
of evidence.

16 of 2000.

Registrar to set
appeal down for
argument.

Appeal not a re-
hearing unless
the court so
directs.

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his case, and the court may, if the justice of the case
requires it, adjourn the hearing to some convenient day.

245. At the hearing of an appeal on motion, the
appellant shall, before going into the case, state all the
grounds of appeal on which he intends to rely, and shall
not, unless by leave of the court, go into any matters not
raised by such statement, nor shall he be entitled to
examine any witnesses not examined at the hearing of the
case before the magistrate’s court, unless he has given to
the respondent three clear days’ notice in writing of the
names and addresses of such witnesses and of the
substance of the evidence they will give and unless he has
subsequently obtained the leave of the court to the
examination thereof.




The next page is 101

Procedure on
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on motion.

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246. On an appeal by motion the court may draw
inferences of fact from the evidence given before the
magistrate’s court, and, subject to due notice having been
given as hereinbefore mentioned, may hear any further
evidence tendered by the appellant, and may take and
admit, if it thinks fit, any further evidence tendered in reply
and also such other evidence as it may require, and it may
decide the appeal with reference both to matters of fact and
to matters of law.

247. On appeal by stated case the court shall entertain
such appeal on the ground only that the decision of the
magistrate’s court was erroneous in point of law, or in
excess of jurisdiction, and only upon the facts stated and
the evidence mentioned in the stated case. The Supreme
Court may remit the case to the magistrate’s court for
amendment or restatement if necessary, or for re-hearing
and determination in accordance with such directions as
may be deemed necessary.

248. The court may adjourn the hearing of the appeal,
and may upon the hearing thereof, confirm, reverse, vary
or modify the decision of the magistrate’s court or remit
the matter with the opinion of the court thereon to the
magistrate’s court, or may make such other order in the
matter as it may think just, and may, by such order,
exercise any power which the magistrate’s court might
have exercised, and such order shall have the same effect
and may be enforced in the same manner as if it had been
made by the magistrate’s court.

249. The court hearing any appeal may make such
order as to the costs to be paid by either party as it may
think just, and, in the event of costs being allowed, may
direct a lump sum to be paid by way of costs not exceeding
fifteen dollars, for each day of attendance at court
according to the importance of the appeal, or the length of
time occupied by the hearing thereof, and such sum shall
cover all fees of office and all fees of counsel and attorney:

Provided that no magistrate shall be liable to any
costs in respect of any appeal against his decision.

250. Where an appeal is abandoned or withdrawn, the
court, on proof of notice of appeal having been given to the
respondent, may make an order that the respondent shall
receive such costs as the court may allow.

Court on hearing
appeal on motion
to decide on facts
as well as law.

On appeal by
stated case court
confined to facts
and evidence
stated therein.

Powers of court
on hearing
appeals.

Costs.

Where appeal is
abandoned court
may give
respondent his
costs.

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251. No judgment shall be given in favour of the
appellant if the appeal is based on an objection to any
information, complaint, summons, or warrant for any
alleged defect therein in matter of substance or for any
variance between such information, complaint, summons
or warrant and the evidence adduced in support thereof,
unless it be proved that such objection was raised before
the magistrate’s court whose decision is appealed against.

252. In any case of appeal the court may hear and
determine the case upon the merits, notwithstanding any
defect in form or otherwise in the conviction, order or
judgment, and, if the appellant is found guilty, the
conviction, order or judgment shall be confirmed, and if
necessary, amended.

253. No conviction or order shall for want of form be
quashed or removed by certiorari into any other court, and
no warrant of commitment shall be held void by reason of
any defect therein:

Provided that it be therein alleged that the party has
been convicted or ordered to do or abstain from doing any
act or thing required to be done or left undone, and there be
a good and valid conviction or order to sustain the same.

254. (1) Whenever the decision of a magistrate’s
court is confirmed on appeal, the Registrar shall inform the
magistrate’s court of such confirmation, and thereupon the
magistrate’s court may issue a warrant of distress, or
commitment, or writ of execution, as the case may be, for
enforcing such decision in the same manner as though no
appeal had been brought.

(2) Whenever the decision is not confirmed, the
Registrar shall send to the magistrate’s court from the
decision of which the appeal was made, for entry in the
register of that court, and shall also endorse on the
conviction, order or judgment appealed against a
memorandum of the decision of the Supreme Court, and
whenever a copy or certificate of such conviction,
judgment or order is made, a copy of such memorandum
shall be added thereto, and shall be sufficient evidence of
the decision on appeal in every case where such copy or
certificate would be sufficient evidence of such conviction,
order or judgment.

No appeal on
point of form or
matter of
variance.

Court may decide
on merits
notwithstanding
any defect in
form.

Defect in order
or warrant of
commitment not
to render void.

Where
conviction
confirmed
warrant may
issue as though
no appeal had
been made.

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255. (1) In the case of an appeal to the circuit justice
it shall be the duty of the magistrate’s court, against the
decision of which the appeal has been lodged, to service
the notice upon the parties to the appeal, in accordance
with such procedure as may be directed by the Chief
Justice, stating the date and place at which the appeal is to
be heard, and no such appeal shall be heard in the absence
of either party unless it is proved to the circuit justice that
such party has been duly served with notice under this
section and has refused to attend or otherwise consented to
the hearing of the appeal in his absence.

(2) For the purpose of service of notice in
accordance with the provisions of subsection (1) of this
section, each party shall, as soon as notice of appeal is
given, serve on the magistrate’s court concerned notice in
writing of his address in The Bahamas for service of all
matters relating to the appeal, and service at such address
shall be deemed to be good and sufficient service on the
party concerned. Any party who fails to provide an address
for service in accordance with the provisions of this section
shall be deemed to have consented to the appeal being
heard and determined in his absence.

PART X
PROCEDURE FOR INDICTMENT OF

OFFENDERS
256. (1) Notwithstanding section 36 the provisions of

Part V of this Code and the provisions of the Preliminary
Inquiries (Special Procedure) Act, the Attorney-General
may make application by summons to a judge of the
Supreme Court for an order of consent to prefer a bill of
indictment against any person charged with an indictable
offence; and where a bill of indictment signed by the
Attorney-General or on his behalf by any legal practitioner
acting on his instructions has been so preferred, the judge
shall if he is satisfied that the requirements of subsections
(2) and (3) have been complied with, direct —

(a) the bill to be filed with the Registrar of the
Supreme Court together with such additional
copies thereof as are necessary for service upon
the accused person; and

Notice to be
given to parties
in case of appeal
to be heard by
circuit justice.

18 of 1994, s. 8.

Proceedings for
indictment of
offenders.
18 of 1994, s. 8.

Ch. 92.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) the issue by the Registrar of a summons
requiring the attendance of the accused person
before the judge at a date specified in the
summons, which date shall not be earlier than
two days after service upon the accused person
of the documents mentioned in paragraph (a).

(2) An application under subsection (1) shall be
accompanied by the bill of indictment, together with —

(a) statements of the evidence of witnesses whom it
is proposed to call in support of the charge; and

(b) a declaration signed by the Attorney-General or
by any legal practitioner acting on his behalf that
the evidence shown by the statements will be
available at the trial and that the case disclosed
by the statements is, to the best of the
knowledge, information and belief of the
applicant, substantially a true case.

(3) No bill of indictment charging any person with
an indictable offence shall be preferred unless the bill is
preferred by the direction or with the consent of a judge or
pursuant to directions given under section 81 of the Penal
Code.

(4) Unless the judge to whom an application is
made under subsection (1) otherwise directs in any
particular case, his decision on an application shall be
signified in writing on the application without requiring the
attendance before him of the applicant or of any of the
witnesses. If the judge thinks fit to require the attendance
of the applicant or of any of the witnesses, their attendance
shall not be in open court.

(5) For the purposes of subsection (2), the term
“statement” has the meaning ascribed to it by section 2 of
the Preliminary Inquiries (Special Procedure) Act.

257. (1) The provisions of sections 141 to 143 shall
mutatis mutandis apply to a person against whom a bill of
indictment is preferred by or with the directions of a judge
pursuant to subsection (1) of section 256 as if that person
were a person who had been committed for trial by a
magistrate.

(2) Where the accused person fails to attend upon the
date specified in the summons issued under section 256(1)

Ch. 92.

Certain
requirements to
be fulfilled.

18 of 1994, s. 8.

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or the judge is satisfied that he is avoiding service of the
bill of indictment, the attendance of the accused person
may be enforced by the issue of a warrant for his arrest.

(3) Upon the appearance of the accused person
before the judge, the judge shall —

(a) explain to the accused person that should he
wish to adduce evidence of an alibi at his trial
before the Supreme Court he would not be able
to do so unless he gives notice of particulars of
the alibi and of the witnesses to the Attorney-
General within twenty-one days thereafter; and

(b) give to the accused a written notice of the
aforegoing explanation.

(4) Every written statement purporting to be
evidence of witnesses submitted to a judge under section
256(2) shall be deemed a deposition taken in accordance
with the provisions of the Evidence Act relating to the
taking of oral evidence and shall notwithstanding anything
to the contrary in any other law be treated as evidence
taken under Part V of this Code.

(5) If it appears to a judge that any part of a
statement referred to in subsection (4) is inadmissible as
evidence there shall be written against that part “Treated as
inadmissible” followed by the initials of the judge.

(6) Any document or object referred to as an exhibit
and identified in a written statement referred to in
subsection (4) shall be treated as if it had been produced as
an exhibit and identified before the judge by the maker of
the statement and that document or object shall
wheresoever possible be identified by means of a label or
other mark of identification signed by the maker of the
statement.

(7) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any
law, the fact that there is pending before a magistrate
preliminary inquiry proceedings against an accused person
in respect of the same alleged offence for which a bill of
indictment is sought shall not preclude a judge from
entertaining an application under section 256 if no
evidence has begun to be taken in those proceedings before
the magistrate who shall dismiss those proceedings upon
being informed of the application before the judge.

Ch. 65.



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258. (1) Notwithstanding any rule of practice or
anything to the contrary in this or any other written law,
the Attorney-General may file a voluntary bill of
indictment in the Supreme Court against a person who is

charged before a magistrate’s court with an indictable
offence whether before or after the coming into operation
of this section, in the manner provided in this section.

(2) Every voluntary bill shall be signed by the
Attorney-General or on his behalf by any legal practitioner
acting on his instructions, and shall be filed with the
Registrar of the Supreme Court, together with —

(a) statements of the evidence of witnesses whom it
is proposed to call in support of the charge;

(b) a statement signed by the Attorney-General or
by any legal practitioner acting on his behalf, to
the effect that the evidence shown by the
statements will be available at the trial and that
the case disclosed by the statements is, to the
best of his knowledge, information and belief,
substantially a true case; and

(c) such additional copies of the voluntary bill and
of the respective statements mentioned in
paragraphs (a) and (b) as are necessary for
service upon the accused person.

(3) Upon the filing of a voluntary bill, the Registrar
shall issue a summons requiring the attendance of the
accused person before a judge at a date specified in the
summons, which date shall not be earlier than seven days
after service upon the accused person of the documents
mentioned in paragraph (c) of subsection (2).

(4) Where a voluntary bill is filed against a person
who is before a magistrate’s court charged with an offence
triable on information, the prosecutor shall, within a
reasonable time after the filing of the voluntary bill,
produce to the magistrate and to the person charged,
respectively, a copy of the voluntary bill and of the
relevant summons issued by the Registrar under subsection
(3).

(5) Where a voluntary bill and summons have been
produced to a magistrate pursuant to subsection (4), the
magistrate, in accordance with the provisions of the Bail
Act, 1994, may admit the person charged under the

Voluntary bill of
indictment.
8 of 1995, s. 3.

33 of 1996, s. 3.

33 of 1996, s. 3.

33 of 1996, s. 3.

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voluntary bill, to bail conditioned to appear before the
Supreme Court on the relevant date specified in the
summons or remand him into custody so to appear; and,
upon so admitting the person charged to bail or remanding
him into custody, the jurisdiction of the magistrate to deal
with him in respect of the charge shall cease, but the
warrant of the magistrate shall be sufficient authority for
the detention of the person named therein, by the officer in
charge of any prison.

(6) The provisions of sections 141 to 144 shall
mutatis mutandis apply to an accused person against whom
a voluntary bill is filed as if that person were a person who
has been committed for trial by a magistrate.

(7) Where the accused person fails to attend upon
the date specified in the summons issued under subsection
(3), or the judge is satisfied that he is avoiding service of
the voluntary bill, the attendance of the accused person
may be enforced by the issue of a warrant for his arrest.

(8) Upon the appearance before the judge of an
accused person against whom a voluntary bill is filed, the
voluntary bill shall be read over to him by the Registrar
and the accused person shall be required to plead instantly
thereto, unless he shall object that copies of the documents
mentioned in paragraph (c) of subsection (2) have not
previously been served upon him or he raises objection to
the voluntary bill as in this Code provided.

(9) If upon arraignment the accused person pleads
guilty he may be convicted thereon.

(10) If upon arraignment the accused person pleads
not guilty, or if a plea of not guilty is entered upon his
behalf in accordance with the provisions of section 155, the
judge shall —

(a) explain to the accused person that should he
wish to adduce evidence of an alibi at his trial
before the court he would not be able to do so
unless he gives notice of particulars of the alibi
and of the witnesses to the Attorney-General
within twenty-one days thereafter; and

(b) give to the accused person a written notice of the
foregoing explanation.

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(11) Every statement purporting to be evidence of
witnesses submitted under subsection (2) shall be deemed a
deposition taken in accordance with the provisions of the
Evidence Act relating to the taking of oral evidence and
shall notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other
law be treated as evidence taken under Part V of this Code.

(12) In this section, the term “voluntary bill” means a
voluntary bill of indictment filed by the Attorney-General
in accordance with the provisions of this section.

259. The provisions of this Code and of any other law
respecting the form and contents of an information and
respecting the proceedings on information in the Supreme
Court, shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the form and
contents of a bill of indictment, and to the proceedings
following upon the filing of a bill of indictment in that
Court, whether a voluntary bill of indictment or otherwise,
as if the references in those provisions to an information
were references to a bill of indictment.

PART XI
SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS

260. No finding, sentence or order of any criminal
court shall be set aside merely on the ground that the
inquiry, trial or other proceeding, in the course of which it
was arrived at or passed, took place in a wrong district or
other local area, unless it appears that such error has in fact
occasioned a failure of justice.

261. Nothing in this Code shall be construed to affect
or limit the provisions of the Habeas Corpus Act, and the
Supreme Court shall have and exercise all the powers
conferred by that Act upon any court to issue writs of
habeas corpus, in respect of proceedings thereupon and for
any purposes connected therewith.

262. If any person affected by any order made or
judgment passed in any proceedings under this Code
desires to have a copy of such order or judgment, or of any
deposition or other part of the record in any such
proceedings, he shall, upon making application for such

Ch. 65.

Provisions of
Code to similarly
apply to bills of
indictment.
8 of 1995, s. 3.

Proceedings in
wrong place.

Powers of
Supreme Court
in respect of
habeas corpus.
Ch. 63.

Copies of
proceedings.

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE [CH.91 – 109



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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

copy, be furnished therewith, provided he pays for the
same according to such scale as may be prescribed, unless,
in any particular case, the court directs that it be furnished
free of cost.

263. Nothing in this Code shall be construed to affect
or apply to the jurisdiction, procedure and powers of any
juvenile court established in accordance with the
provisions of the Children and Young Persons
(Administration of Justice) Act.

264. Whenever a magistrate is informed on oath that
any person within his district is likely to commit a breach
of the peace or disturb the public tranquility or to do any
wrongful act which may probably occasion a breach of the
peace or disturb the public tranquility, the magistrate may
in the manner hereinafter prescribed require such person to
show cause why he should not be ordered to execute a
bond, with or without sureties, for keeping the peace for
such period not exceeding one year as the magistrate thinks
fit.

265. (1) When a magistrate acting under section 264
of this Code deems it necessary to require any person to
show cause under that section, he shall make an order in
writing setting forth —

(a) the substance of the information received;
(b) the amount of the bond to be executed;
(c) the term for which it is to be in force; and
(d) the number, character and class of sureties, if

any, required.
(2) If the person in respect of whom an order is

made under subsection (1) of this section is present in
court, it shall be read over to him and, if he so desires, the
substance thereof shall be explained to him.

(3) If such person is not present in court, the
magistrate shall issue a summons requiring him to appear,
or when such person is in custody, a warrant directing the
officer in whose custody he is to bring him before the
court:

Code not to
affect
proceedings in
juvenile courts.

Security for
keeping the
peace.

Ch. 97.

Order to be
made.

CH.91 – 110] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

Provided that whenever it appears to the magistrate
upon the report of a police officer or upon information that
there is reason to fear the commission of a breach of the
peace by any person and that such breach of the peace
cannot be prevented otherwise than by the immediate arrest
of such person, the magistrate may, after recording the
substance of such report or information, issue a warrant for
his arrest.

(4) Every summons or warrant issued under
subsection (3) of this section shall be accompanied by a
copy of the order made under subsection (1) of this section
and such copy shall be delivered by the officer serving the
summons or executing such warrant to the person served
with or arrested under the same.

266. (1) When an order under section 265 of this
Code has been read and, if required, explained to a person
present in court in accordance with subsection (2) of that
section or when any person appears or is brought before a
magistrate in compliance with or in execution of a
summons or warrant issued under subsection (3) of that
section, the magistrate shall proceed to inquire into the
truth of the information upon which the oath has been
taken and to take such further evidence as may appear
necessary.

(2) Such inquiry shall be made, as nearly as may be
practical, in the manner in this Code prescribed for
conducting trials and recording evidence in trials before
magistrates’ courts.

(3) When two or more persons have been associated
together in the matter under inquiry, they may be dealt with
in the same or separate inquiries as the magistrate thinks
just.

267. (1) If upon an inquiry under section 266 of this
Code it is proved to the satisfaction of the magistrate that it
is necessary for keeping the peace or maintaining good
behaviour that the person in respect of whom the inquiry is
made should execute a bond with or without sureties, the
magistrate shall make an order accordingly:

Inquiry as to
truth of
information.

Order to give
security.

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Provided that —
(a) no person shall be ordered to give security of a

nature different from or of an amount larger
than, or for a period longer than, that specified
under section 265 of this Code;

(b) the amount of any bond shall be fixed with due
regard to the circumstances of the case and shall
not be excessive;

(c) when the person in respect of whom the inquiry
is made is a minor, the bond shall be executed
only by his sureties.

(2) Any person ordered to give security for good
behaviour under this section may appeal to the court
specified in section 234 of this Code as the case may be
and the provisions of Part IX of this Code (relating to
appeals) shall apply to every such appeal.

268. If upon an inquiry under section 266 of this
Code it is not proved to the satisfaction of the magistrate
that it is necessary for keeping the peace or maintaining
good behaviour that the person in respect of whom the
inquiry is made shall execute a bond, the magistrate shall
make an entry on the record to that effect, and, if such
person is in custody only for the purposes of the inquiry,
shall release him, or, if such person is not in custody, shall
discharge him.

269. Notwithstanding anything in any Act or the
common law, where any person is charged with escape
from lawful custody, a magistrate’s court may hear and
determine such charge summarily.

270. (1) Any court may order the seizure of any
property which there is reason to believe has been obtained
by, or is the proceeds or part of the proceeds of any
offence, or into which the proceeds of any offence have
been converted, and may direct that the same shall be kept
or sold and that the same, or the proceeds thereof if sold,
shall be held as such court directs until some person
establishes a right thereto to the satisfaction of such court.
If no person establishes such a right within twelve months
from the date of such seizure, the property, or the proceeds
thereof, shall vest in the Treasurer for the use of The
Bahamas and shall be disposed of accordingly.

Discharge of
person informed
against.

Magistrate’s
court may try
summarily
charge of escape.

Seizure of
property
obtained by
offence.

CH.91 – 112] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) Any court may order the seizure of any
instruments, materials or things which there is reason to
believe are provided or prepared or being prepared with a
view to the commission of any offence and may direct
them to be held and dealt with in the same manner as
property seized under subsection (1) of this section.

(3) Any order made under this section may be
enforced by means of a search warrant which, upon being
satisfied by evidence on oath that there is reasonable cause
for the issue of such warrant, any such court is hereby
authorised to issue for the purpose.

271. (1) The Rules Committee constituted by section
75 of the Supreme Court Act acting pursuant to that section
may make rules for prescribing anything required to be
prescribed and generally for carrying into effect the
provisions of this Code.

(2) Without derogation from the generality of the
power conferred by subsection (1) of this section, such
rules may provide for —

(a) the payment of expenses or subsistence
allowances to witness;

(b) the forms to be used for particular purposes in
criminal proceedings;

(c) the functions and duties of registrars, clerks and
other officers of courts in regard to the
administration of criminal courts and the
custody of documents, exhibits and records of
criminal proceedings; and

(d) the procedure for the recovery of costs payable
to any party in pursuance of an order made in
any criminal proceedings:

Provided that, until any such rules are made,
payments to witnesses shall be made in accordance with
the law in force immediately before the date of
commencement of this Act; and the forms in use at that
date in criminal proceedings shall continue to be used with
such modifications as are necessary for conformity with
the requirements of this Code.

Rules.

Ch. 53.

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272. (1) Subject to subsection (7)(a) and
notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any other law,
after a person is accused of a rape offence no matter likely
to lead members of the public to identify a woman as the
complainant in relation to that accusation shall either be
published in The Bahamas in a written publication
available to the public or be broadcast in The Bahamas
except as authorised by a direction given in pursuance of
this section.

(2) If, before the commencement of a trial at which
a person is charged with a rape offence, he or another
person against whom the complainant may be expected to
give evidence at the trial applies to a judge for a direction
in pursuance of this subsection and satisfies the judge —

(a) that the direction is required for the purpose of
inducing persons to come forward who are
likely to be needed as witnesses at the trial; and

(b) that the conduct of the applicant’s defence at the
trial is likely to be substantially prejudiced if the
direction is not given,

the judge shall direct that subsection (1) shall not, by virtue
of the accusation alleging the offence aforesaid, apply in
relation to the complainant.

(3) If at a trial at which a person is charged with a
rape offence the judge is satisfied that the effect of
subsection (1) is to impose a substantial and unreasonable
restriction upon the reporting of proceedings at the trial and
that it is in the public interest to remove or relax the
restriction, he shall direct that that subsection shall not
apply to such matter relating to the complainant as is
specified in the direction; but a direction shall not be given
in pursuance of this subsection by reason only of an
acquittal of an accused person at the trial.

(4) If a person who has been convicted of an
offence and given notice of appeal to the Court of Appeal
against the conviction, or notice of an application for leave
so to appeal, applies to the Court of Appeal for a direction
in pursuance of this subsection and satisfies the Court —

(a) that the direction is required for the purpose of
obtaining evidence in support of the appeal; and

(b) that the applicant is likely to suffer substantial
injustice if the direction is not given,

Anonymity of
complainants in
rape, etc., cases.
12 of 1984, s. 5.

CH.91 – 114] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

the Court shall direct that subsection (1) shall not, by virtue
of an accusation which alleges a rape offence and is
specified in the direction, apply in relation to a
complainant so specified.

(5) If any matter is published or broadcast in
contravention of subsection (1), the following persons,
namely —

(a) in the case of a publication in a newspaper or
periodical, any proprietor, any editor and any
publisher of the newspaper or periodical;

(b) in the case of any other publication, the person
who publishes it; and

(c) in the case of a broadcast, any body corporate
which transmits or provides the programme in
which the broadcast is made and any person
having functions in relation to the programme
corresponding to those of an editor of a
newspaper,

shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary
conviction to a fine of five thousand dollars.

(6) For the purposes of this section a person is
accused of a rape offence if —

(a) an information is laid alleging that he has
committed a rape offence; or

(b) he appears before a court charged with a rape
offence; or

(c) a court before which he is appearing commits
him for trial on a new charge alleging a rape
offence,

and references in this section to an accusation alleging a
rape offence shall be construed accordingly; and in this
section —

“a broadcast” means a broadcast by wireless
telegraphy of sound or visual images intended
for general reception, and cognate expressions
shall be construed accordingly;

“complainant”, in relation to a person accused of a
rape offence or an accusation alleging a rape
offence, means the woman against whom the
offence is alleged to have been committed;

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

“rape offence” means any offence under sections 6
and 10 to 12 of the Sexual Offences and
Domestic Violence Act, 1991, any attempt to
commit any such offence, and any offence
constituted pursuance to section 85 of the Penal
Code in relation to, and any attempt to commit,
an offence under any of those sections; and

“written publication” includes a film, a sound track
and any other record in permanent form but
does not include an indictment or other
document prepared for use in particular legal
proceedings.

(7) Nothing in this section —
(a) prohibits the publication or broadcasting, in

consequence of an accusation alleging a rape
offence, of matter consisting only of a report of
legal proceedings other than proceedings at, or
intended to lead to, or on an appeal arising out
of, a trial at which the accused is charged with
that offence; or

(b) affects any prohibition or restriction imposed by
virtue of any other enactment upon a publication
or broadcast,

and a direction in pursuance of this section does not affect
the operation of subsection (1) at any time before the
direction is given.

(8) Anything which was lawfully done before the
coming into operation of this section in relation to an
accusation alleging a rape offence and which would if done
thereafter be a contravention of this section shall not be
regarded as such a contravention or be deemed to be to the
prejudice of the trial pertaining to that accusation.

(9) Proceedings for an offence under this section
shall not be instituted otherwise than by or with the consent
of the Attorney-General.

9 of 1991, s. 38
and Sch.
Ch. 99.

CH.91 – 116] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

FIRST SCHEDULE
PART I (Section 66(1) and (3))

OFFENCES IN RESPECT OF WHICH NOTICE MAY BE
GIVEN

OFFENCES LAW
Road Traffic

(Vehicle
Inspection)
Regulations

Failure to submit motor vehicle for inspection............... 4
No valid certificate of inspection ................................... 5
Vehicle and

Speed Limit
Regulations

Vehicle having no, or no proper identification plates ........... 6
Vehicle not carrying a licence properly affixed ............. 8
Failing to replace identification plates ........................... 9
Failing to give notice of change of ownership of motor

vehicle ........................................................................ 10
Using, driving, etc., motor vehicle or trailer without valid

inspection certificate ............................................................. 15
No brakes in good working order................................... 18
Driving motor vehicle with sign, poster, etc., on front

windshield obstructing view ....................................... 19
No windshield wipers in good working order ................ 20
No rear view mirror........................................................ 21
No muffler in good working order ................................. 22
No horn fitted or excessive or prohibited use of horn .... 23
No or no fitted front head lamps .................................... 24
No or no fitted rear lamp ................................................ 24(4)
Vehicle causing danger or unnecessary annoyance due

to condition................................................................. 26
Unnecessary noise.......................................................... 27
Trailer having no or no proper identification plates ....... 28
Road Traffic

Regulations
No or no proper horn...................................................... 5
Driving without giving proper signals............................ 7
Unlawful parking or over parking .................... 8
Prohibited driving of vehicle on one way streets ........... 9
Driving bus or truck in prohibited place......................... 11
Driving motor vehicle in prohibited place...................... 12
Mounting or otherwise interfering with vehicle ............. 19(a)
Holding on to a vehicle while in motion ........................ 19(b)

11 of 1990, s. 3.

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Unlawfully and wilfully hindering, preventing progress
of any vehicle .................................................................. 19(c)

Riding or pushing a bicycle on public place or street
more than two abreast................................................. 19(d)

Unlawfully and wilfully discharging or throwing objects
from motor vehicle ................................................................ 19(e)

Driver, rider of vehicle —
Failing to do things he must do when in charge of a

vehicle ........................................................................ 20
Driver, rider of vehicle —
Doing things he should not do when in charge of a

vehicle ........................................................................ 22
Cycling offences ............................................................ 26
Road Traffic

Act
Chapter 220

Failure to register or licence motor vehicle.................... 31
Causing obstruction to traffic......................................... 48
Driving vehicle in defective condition ........................... 51
Playing of instrument loudly in road. ............................ 101

Note: The description of an offence in the first column of this
Schedule is only intended as an indication in general terms of
the nature of the offence and is not to be construed in any way
as altering or qualifying the provisions of the relevant
Regulations or sections of the statute.

PART II (Section 66(14))

FORM OF NOTICE

Royal Bahamas Police Force
NOTICE OFFERING WAIVER OF APPEARANCE BEFORE
MAGISTRATE AND OF NO EVIDENCE OF THE
COMMISSION OF OFFENCE BEING AVAILABLE
TO: (Offender) ...................................................................
of .............................................................................................
Driver’s Licence No ................................................................

(if available)
Vehicle Licence No ..................................................................
Registered Owner’s Name .......................................................
Take Notice that I, (number, rank and name of police officer)
have reason to believe that the offence
of (name offence and give particulars) has been committed by you.

CH.91 – 118] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006


You may waive your obligation to appear before the Magistrate
and have no conviction for the offence recorded if you sign this
notice in the appropriate place below admitting guilt of the
offence and returning the signed notice together with the fixed
penalty of $ ........... before the ..................... day of
.......................... 20 ....... to the clerk of Magistrate’s Court #
.................. situated at ...........................................................
Failure to return the signed notice together with the above sum
in payment of the fixed penalty in the manner and within the
time specified above will result in your trial for the above
offence before the Magistrate of the aforementioned
Magistrate’s Court at ........................... o’clock in the morning of
........................... 20 .... and for which trial you are hereby
requested to attend before that Magistrate at that time.

.......................................
Signature of Officer

I admit the above offence and make the payment of the sum of
$ ..............

........................................
Signature of Offender

SECOND SCHEDULE (Section 76)

RULES FOR FRAMING CHARGES AND INFORMATIONS
1. (1) An information may be on parchment or durable

paper, and may be either written or printed, or partly written and
partly printed.

(2) Each sheet on which an information is set out shall
be 11 inches long by 8½ inches wide or A4 International
Standards Organisation.

(3) A proper margin not less than 2 inches in width shall
be kept on the left hand side of each sheet.

(4) Figures and abbreviations may be used in an
information for expressing anything which is commonly
expressed thereby.

(5) There shall be endorsed on the information the name
of every witness intended to be examined.

(6) An information shall not be open to objection by
reason, only, of any failure to comply with this rule.



Material, etc., for
information.



S.I. 130/2002.

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2. The commencement of an information shall be in the
following form —

THE BAHAMAS
IN THE SUPREME COURT

Criminal Side.
The Queen versus A. B.

To Wit:
A. B. is charged with the following offence (offences) —
3. (1) A description of the offence charged in a charge or

information, or where more than one offence is charged, of each
offence so charged, shall be set out in a separate paragraph called a
count.

(2) A count shall commence with a statement of the
offence charged, called the statement of offence.

(3) The statement of an offence shall describe the offence
shortly in ordinary language, avoiding as far as possible the use of
technical terms, and without necessarily stating all the essential
elements of the offence, and, if the offence charged is one created
by Act, shall contain a reference to the section of the Act creating
the offence.

(4) After the statement of the offence, particulars of such
offence shall be set out in ordinary language, in which the use of
technical terms shall not be necessary:

Provided that where any rule of law or any Act limits the
particulars of an offence which are required to be given in an
information, nothing in this rule shall require any more particulars
to be given than those so required.

(5) Where a charge or information contains more than one
count, the counts shall be numbered consecutively.

4. (1) Where an Act constituting an offence states the offence
to be the doing or the omission to do any one of any different acts
in the alternative, or the doing or the omission to do any act in any
one of any different capacities, or with any one of any different
intentions, or states any part of the offence in the alternative, the
acts, omissions, capacities or intentions or other matters stated in
the alternative in the enactment may be stated in the alternative in
the count charging the offence.

(2) It shall not be necessary, in any count charging a
statutory offence, to negative any exception or exemption from, or
qualification to, the operation of the Act creating the offence.

5. (1) The description of property in a count shall be in
ordinary language and such as to indicate with reasonable clearness
the property referred to, and if the property is so described it shall not
be necessary (except when required for the purpose of

Commencement
of information.

Mode in which
offences are to be
charged.

Provisions as to
statutory
offences.

Description of
property.

CH.91 – 120] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

describing an offence depending on any special ownership of
property or special value of property) to name the person to whom
the property belongs or the value of the property.

(2) Where property is vested in more than one person, and the
owners of the property are referred to in a charge or information, it shall
be sufficient to describe the property as owned by one of those persons
by name and with others, and if the persons owning the property are a
body of persons with a collective name, such as “Inhabitants”,
“Trustees”, “Commissioners” or “Club”, or such other name, it shall be
sufficient to use the collective name without naming any individual.

6. The description or designation in a charge or information of the
accused person, or of any other person to whom reference is made
therein, shall be such as is reasonably sufficient to identify him, without
necessarily stating his correct name, or his abode, style, degree or
occupation and if, owing to the name of the person not being known, or
for any other reason, it is impracticable to give such a description or
designation, such description or designation shall be given as is
reasonably practicable in the circumstances, or such person may be
described as “a person unknown”.

7. Where it is necessary to refer to any document or instrument, it
shall be sufficient to describe it by any name or designation by which it
is usually known, or by the purport thereof without setting out any copy
thereof.

8. In a count in respect of an offence for engraving, or making the
whole or any part of any instrument, matter or anything whatsoever, or
for using or having the unlawful possession of any plate or other material
upon which the whole or any part of any instrument, matter or thing
whatsoever shall have been engraved or made, or for having the
unlawful possession of any paper upon which the whole or any part of
any instrument, matter or thing whatsoever shall have been made or
printed, it shall be sufficient to describe such instrument, matter or thing
by any name or designation by which the same may be usually known,
without setting out any copy or facsimile of the whole or any part of such
instrument, matter or thing.

9. In a count in which it shall be necessary to make any
averment as to any money, or any currency note, it shall be
sufficient to describe such money or currency note simply as
money, without specifying any particular coin or bank note; and
such allegation so far as regards the description of the property
shall be sustained by proof of any amount of coin, or any bank note,
although the particular species of coin of which such amount was
composed or the particular nature of the bank note shall not be
proved; and in cases of embezzlement, and obtaining money or
bank notes by false pretences, by proof that the offender embezzled
or obtained any pieces of coin, or any bank note, or any portion of

Description of
persons.

Description of
documents.

Description of
engraving.

Description of
money.

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the value thereof, although such piece of coin or bank note may
have been delivered to him in order that some part of the value
thereof should be returned to the party delivering the same, or to
any other person and such part shall have been returned
accordingly.

10. Subject to any other provisions of these Rules, it
shall be sufficient to describe any place, time, thing, matter, act
or omission whatsoever, to which it is necessary to refer in any
charge or information, in ordinary language in such a manner as
to indicate with reasonable clearness the place, time, thing,
matter, act or omission referred to.

11. It shall not be necessary in stating any intent to
defraud, deceive or injure to state an intent to defraud, deceive
or injure any particular person where the statute creating the
offence does not make any intent to defraud, deceive or injure a
particular person an essential ingredient of the offence.

12. Any charge of a previous conviction of an offence
shall be charged at the end of the information by means of a
statement that the person accused has been previously convicted
of that offence at a certain time and place without stating the
particulars of the offence:

Provided, that in reading such information to the jury
regard shall be had to the provisions of section 152 of this Code.

THIRD SCHEDULE (Section 214)

INDICTABLE OFFENCES TRIABLE SUMMARILY
PART I

Offences under the following sections of the Penal Code
(Ch. 84) —

264, 265, 266 to 281, 282, 297, 315, 327 to 336 (inclusive),
338, 339(1), 340, 341, 344 to 359 (inclusive), 362, 364 to 367
(inclusive), 369 to 386 (inclusive), 396, 397, 398(2), 400 to 403
(inclusive), 406, 409 to 422 (inclusive), 424, 426, 427, 429 to
445 (inclusive), 447 to 455 (inclusive), 457 to 470 (inclusive),
481 to 487 (inclusive), 489, 490, 491 to 495 (inclusive).

PART II
Offences under section 5 of the Explosive Substances

(Illegal Use and Possession Act) (Ch. 216).
PART III

Offences under section 44 of the Road Traffic Act (Ch.
220).

General rule as to
description.

Statement of
intent.

Charge of
previous
convictions, etc.

9 of 1991, s. 38
and Sch; 21 of
1994, s. 9.

9 of 1991, s. 38
and Sch.

CH.91 – 122] CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2010

PART IV
Offences under the following sections of the Sexual

Offences and Domestic Violence Act (Ch. 99) —
7, 8, 10(2), 11, 12, 13(1)(b), 13(2)(b), 14, 15 and 16, 19,

21 to 23, 26 and 28.

FOURTH SCHEDULE (Section 10)

OFFENCES WHICH REQUIRE SENTENCING
GUIDELINES

Offences under sections 5(1), 9(2), 15(2), 30(2) and 36(4)
of the Firearms Act (Ch. 213);

Offence under section 339(1) of the Penal Code (Ch. 84);
Offences under sections 22(2), (4) and 29 of the Dangerous

Drugs Act (Ch. 228);
Offences under sections 6, 10, 11(1), (2), 12, 13(1)(a),

(2)(a) and 14(1), (2) of the Sexual Offences and Domestic
Violence Act (Ch. 99);

Offences under sections 41(2) and 41(3) of the Mental
Health Act (Ch. 230).

9 of 1991, s. 38
and Sch.
29 of 2008, s. 13.

1 of 2000, s. 4.

Related Laws

1927 Penal Code