Test yourself

Fill in the gaps with the words given below:
magistrates; bail; hearing; jury; indictable; summary; tag; magistrates; community; custody; either; appeal;

Magistrates' courts
All criminal cases start in a (1 p.) ’ court.​
Cases are heard by either:
• 2 or 3 (1 p.)
• a district judge
There is not a (1 p.) in a magistrates’ court.​

Cases a magistrates’ court deals with
A magistrates’ court normally handles cases known as ‘ (1 p.) offences’, for example:​
• most motoring offences
• minor criminal damage
• common assault (not causing significant injury)
It can also deal with some of the more serious offences, such as:
• burglary
• drugs offences
These are called ‘either way’ offences and can be heard (1 p.) in a magistrates’ court or a Crown Court.​

Cases that magistrates pass to the Crown Court
Magistrates’ courts always pass the most serious crimes to the Crown Court, for example:
• murder
• rape
• robbery
These are known as ‘ (1 p.) offences’.​

Being kept in custody or granted bail
In some cases the magistrates’ court will decide if you should be kept in (1 p.) until your next court hearing, or released on (1 p.) .​
This may happen if:
• another court (1 p.) is needed​
• the court needs more information before passing sentence
• your case is passed to the Crown Court for trial or sentencing
If you’re released on bail, you might have to follow strict conditions such as keeping away from certain people or places, staying indoors or wearing a (1 p.) .​
If you do not attend court after being granted bail, you can be put in prison.

Sentences a magistrates’ court can give
The court can give punishments including:
• up to 6 months in prison (or up to 12 months in total for more than one offence)
• a fine
• a (1 p.) sentence, like doing unpaid work in the community​
• a ban, for example from driving or keeping an animal

Courts can also give a combination of punishments - for example a fine and unpaid work in the community.
If the court decides your sentence should be for longer than 6 months, it can pass your case to the Crown Court for sentencing.

Appealing a sentence or conviction
If you disagree with verdict of the magistrates’ court, you may be able to (1 p.)
Source: https://www.gov.uk/