What is the procedure for bail and sentencing after a criminals charge?

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Outline to Magistrates and Crown Court (10)

All defendants after being charged must be brought before magistrates to hear the formal charge(s) brought against them and to confirm their name and address, At this preliminary hearing, they will have the opportunity to ask for bail under the Bail Act 1976 and also to apply for criminal legal aid.

If the offence charged is a summary one – triable only by magistrates, a trial date will be set. If the offence is an either-way one – triable by magistrates or Crown Court – a plea before venue hearing date will be arranged when the defendant will be asked how he intends to plead. If he decides to plead guilty, the magistrates will set a date for sentencing. If however he intends to plead not guilty, the defendant will be asked whether he wishes to be tried by magistrates or by a judge and jury in Crown Court.

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If the offence charged is an indictable offence, the magistrates will remit the case to a later Crown Court hearing under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 when the defendant may request a further hearing to determine whether the prosecution case is strong enough to justify a trial.

If the Crown Court trial proceeds, the defendant will be tried by a judge and jury. The jury will hear al the evidence and decide whether he is guilty or not guilty. If convicted, it is then the responsibility of the judge to decide his sentence.

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