MAGISTRATES COURT PROCEDURE
HOW DO I KNOW TO ATTEND MAGISTRATES COURT? There are two different ways that you can find yourself in the Criminal Justice System appearing in the Magistrates Court.
1) Via Summons/Postal Requisition
2) Charged by the Police
SUMMONS/POSTAL REQUISITION FOR MAGISTRATES COURT When you receive a summons, you will be told in the summons the date, time and location where your case will be heard for the first time at the Magistrates Court. This is known as a First Appearance or an Early First Hearing.
If you have been summoned to the Magistrates Court for a minor motoring offence and are not liable for disqualification it is likely that you can enter a plea by post and avoid attending Magistrates Court on the named day.
If you fall into this category you will be notified and provided with the necessary paperwork at the same time as your summons.If you are not eligible for a plea by post then you should attend the Magistrates Court as required. Technically you are not committing any offence if you fail to attend this hearing but without your presence you are unable to put forward any points that will be of assistance to your case.
Importantly, if you fail to attend on the day the Magistrates Court is deciding your guilt/innocence then you will usually be convicted in your absence. If you are intending to plead guilty to a driving offence and a disqualification is likely to flow from your guilty plea then your attendance will be required and if you fail to attend then the Magistrates Court will either disqualify you in your absence, or more likely issue a warrant for your arrest.
CHARGED BY THE POLICE FOR MAGISTRATES COURT If the Police have charged you with an offence you will either be remanded into custody to be brought before the next sitting of the Magistrates Court or you will be bailed to attend the Magistrates Court on a date in the future.
If, having been bailed, and you fail to attend court you are committing a separate offence for which you can be sent to prison. The Magistrates Court will issue a Warrant for your arrest to get you to the Magistrates Court.
Once at the Magistrates Court you will decide whether or not you will be pleading guilty or not guilty. Click here to continue reading>>>
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