AS Law Unit 2 - Categories of Offences

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Categories of Offences


  • Least serious offences
  • Only tried by Magistrates
    • Driving Offences
    • Common assault
    • Criminal damage under £5,000

Guilty Plea

  • Prosecutor outlines facts of case
  • Suspect asked if they agree, if not Newton hearing required
  • Past record given to court
  • Other info and reports, especially suspects financial and background info
  • Probation officer's pre-sentence report, medical report etc
  • Mitigation pleas, why judge should be lenient
  • Magistrate/District judge decide sentence

Not guilty plea

  • Trial:
    • Prosecution opening speech
    • Prosecution examination
    • Defence cross examination
    • Submissions of no case to answer
    • Defence examination
    • Prosecution cross examination
    • Defence closing speech
  • Verdict by magistrates/district judges
  • Not guilty - free to go
  • Guilty - follows procedure of guilty plea

Either way

  • Middle range offences
  • Tried either in Magistrates/Crown Court
    • Theft
    • Actual bodily harm

Guilty plea

  • Magistrates hear facts, will decide if their sentencing powers sufficient or not
  • If sufficient will follow guilty plea of summary…


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