Summary offences

Offences of a more minor nature which are usually tried in the magistrates' court.

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Summary Offences and the Crown Court - Crown Prosecution Service

Summary offences are usually tried in the magistrates' court, there are exceptions.

The Crown Court may deal with a summary offence in the following circumstances:

Where there is no risk of ambiguity the section numbers only are used in this guidance.'

The magistrates' court can only impose a maximum sentence of six months and/or a fine of up to £5,000.

Summary offences include almost all driving offences such as driving without insurance, taking a vehicle without consent (but not including instances where the driver was driving dangerously or if someone was killed or injured), Common Assault and most regulatory offences.

The police will normally start proceedings and the prosecution should commence within 6 months of the offence. If there is a not guilty plea the case will be adjourned for the trial and a date arranged for the prosecution and the defence to prepare the case and to arrange for witnesses. The magistrates will act as judge and jury and they will decide whether the defendant is guilty or innocent and decide the sentence. Normal procedure is for three lay magistrates to try the case although in some magistrates' courts a District Judge will decide the case alone.

If there is a guilty plea, then the court will usually give the sentence on the same day.

 

 


 

 

 

 

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