Magistrates and Their Powers
Magistrates deal with all categories of cases; they each generate different powers that magistrates can apply when making judicial decisions.
Beginning with indictable offences, magistrates have limited power due to the case being too serious for the magistrates' court. However they still have the power to assent certain things:
- They may grant bail
- They make the initial decision to send the case to the higher court (Crown usually) as they do not have the power to deal with the case.
Either-way offences depend on whether they stay in the magistrates' court or not - this determines which powers they have. Initially at the first hearing, if they decide to pass on the case to the higher court then they only have the powers to pass it on, and possibly grant bail if it is required.
When considering summary offences, the court has limited, but many powers: the different types of sentence.