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Categories of offences
The type of offence being dealt with affects the
number and type of pre-trial hearings and where
the final trial will take place. Criminal offences
are divided into three main categories:
Summary offences
Triable either way offences
Indictable offences…read more

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Category of Offence Place Of trial Examples of Offences
Driving without insurance, Taking
a vehicle without consent,
Summary Magistrates' Court Common Assault
Theft, Assault causing actual
Magistrates' Court or bodily harm, obtaining
Triable either way Crown Court property by deception
Murder, Manslaughter, Rape,
Indictable Crown Court Robbery…read more

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Pre-Trial Procedure for summary
It is possible for cases to be dealt with on a first appearance in
court but often an adjournment may be needed, this could be
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has not got all the
information required to complete the case
The defendant wants to get legal advice
The magistrates want pre-sentence reports on a defendant who
pleads guilty before they decide what sentence to impose
When a defendant pleads not guilty there will almost always have
to be an adjournment as witnesses will have to be brought to
court. One of the main points to be decided on an adjournment
is whether the defendant should be remanded on bail or in
custody.…read more

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Early Administrative Hearing (EAH)
The first hearing in the magistrates' court is heard by a single lay
magistrate or the clerk of court.
Issues dealt with in an EAH:
Legal Aid / Eligibility for Legal Aid
Representation of defendant
Remanded in custody or let out on bail
Bail applications
Pre sentence reports and/or medical reports (if necessary)
There is a limit on the Clerk's powers as the clerk cannot change
any conditions where bail has previously been
granted. Everything possible is sorted out in the EAH to speed
up the court process.…read more

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Mode of Trial
Summary trial before District Judge or bench of three
lay magistrates
Indictable offences now `sent forthwith' from
magistrates' court to Crown Court
Triable either-way offences - magistrates proceed to
`plea before venue':
if defendant indicates guilty plea, he loses right to
Crown Court trial and magistrates dispose of case
summarily (Criminal Procedure and Investigation Act
1996)…read more

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