All criminal cases have a PRETRIAL hearing at magistrates court. This will very rarely be the only hearing - only where the person pleads guilty, no further enquiry is needed and the person already has or does not want legal rep. Final trial will be in either mag. or crown court
Summary offences: nearly all driving, common assault, criminal damage under £5000 Can be dealt with in first hearing but unlikely, may need to gather evidence of root guilty plea, request medical reports, call witnesses, other information to determine sentence in guilty plea. Time is saved by new Early Admin Hearings (EAH) - decide bail, request reports, etc Triable either way: common assault leading to ABH, theft,
Plea before venue - guilty plea, magistrates may send to crown for sentencing; not guilty plea, mode of trial. Mode of trial - magistrates decide what they think is suitable and if they will accept jurisdiction (s19 of mag court act 1980 - consider seriousness, nature of case, own powers of punishment, representations of prosecution and defence). Cases involving complex questions of fact or law should go to crown. Prosecutions wishes might be considered also. Defendants election: if magistrates accept jurisdiction, defendant has the right to choose trial by jury. He should also be informed that if he chooses to be tried at magistrates, they can still send his case to down for sentencing. IF YOU PLEA GUILTY YOU CAN'T HAVE A TRIAL BY JURY
Indictable offences: rape, murder, GBH,
MUST be heard and sentenced at crown. If an indictable offence is plead not guilty then it must be tried by a jury. The first hearing (EAH) is still at magistrates court - deals with bail, application for legal aid, conditions of/issues with bail, etc Will then go straight to crown court
Can grant bail while making further enquiries - they must return to the police station on a certain day Can grant bail while awaiting trial (a...