Frequently Asked Questions | Magistrates/Summary Courts (2023)

Q: How do I get my driver's license reinstated?

A: Pay your outstanding traffic ticket(s) at the appropriate court and then present the reinstatement form and required fee to the Department of Public Safety or Highway Department of the state in which you are a licensed driver.

Q: I have lost my traffic ticket. How can I find out when and where to go to court?

A: Contact Summary Courts Administration.

What The Court Does

Q: I've seen the terms "Summary Court" and "Magistrates' Courts". What's the difference?

These terms are used interchangeably to refer to courts which are presided over by a Magistrate. The administrative support staff for the Magistrates' Courts is always referred to as "Summary Courts Administration".

Q: What kinds of civil cases are heard in Magistrates' Courts?

Magistrates hear several types of civil cases. The most familiar is probably the Small Claims case. Small Claims cases are disputes involving $7,500 or less (in money or value of property). Magistrates' Courts also handle Evictions, Pre-Distress Warrants, Claim and Delivery, Landlord/Tenant disputes, Public Sales on Abandoned Property, and issue restraining orders.

Q: Can I get a jury trial in Magistrates' Courts?

Yes, you are legally entitled to a jury trial IF YOU REQUEST ONE. If you wish to make such a request, you should speak to the clerk in charge at the Magistrates' Court where your case is being heard. The judge will arrange for a trial date, and a six-member jury will be selected for this purpose.

Q: How do I file a criminal case?

Individuals do not file criminal charges. A criminal proceeding is initiated by the government, usually through theCharleston County Solicitor's Office in coordination with a law enforcement agency. Allegations of criminal behavior should be brought to local police, sheriff's department, FBI, or other appropriate law enforcement agency.

What The Court Does Not

Q: Does your office provide information pertaining to any of the following?

  • Federal and State tax leins
  • Records of land transactions
  • Filing general partnership forms

The Magistrates' Courts in Charleston County do not handle any of these records. For information regarding any of these items, you should contact theROD (Register of Deeds) Office located in the O.T. Wallace County Office Building in downtown Charleston. Their phone number is (843) 958-4800.

Q: Can I make my child support payments at a Magistrates' Court?

No. Child Support payments are accepted at Family Court, located in the Judicial Center behind the Historic Courthouse near the corner of Meeting and Broad streets in downtown Charleston. Payments may be mailed in to the Family Court address. Please remember that a payment stub must accompany all payments. You may also make payments at the Treasurer's Office at any of the county's Service Centers.

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Q: Do I go to Magistrates' Courts for a marriage license?

Marriage licenses are not issued by Magistrates' Courts. You may obtain a marriage license or receive information pertaining to marriage licenses by contacting the Marriage License Division of the Charleston County Probate Court, located at the Charleston County Judicial Center, 100 Broad Street, Suite 469, in downtown Charleston. The phone number is (843) 958-5183.

Q: Can I register to vote at your office?

No. Voter registration in Charleston County is handled by the office ofVoter Registration which may be reached at (843) 744-8683.

Q: Can I pay my traffic ticket at your office?

Instructions telling you in which court you must appear are on the copy of the ticket you received. If you have lost or misplaced your ticket, you should contact Summary Court Administration for assistance. Summary Court Administration does not have access to Municipal Court records. Therefore, please contact the appropriate Municipal Court if your ticket was written by the police department of a local municipality.

Small Claims

Q: When is a case a matter for "Small Claims," and when is it "Common Pleas"?

Generally speaking, when the amount or value of property in dispute is less than $7,500 the matter is filed and heard in Small Claims Court.

Q: How do I file a Small Claims case? Is there a charge?

A Small Claims action is commenced by the filing and service of a summons and complaint, together with the appropriate filing fees. Parties instituting a Small Claims action are required to pay the filing fee at the time the case is filed. The current fee is $80. Complaints may be accompanied by an application to proceed in forma pauperis, meaning that the plaintiff is incapable of paying the filing fee. Summons and complaint forms are available at either of the two Small Claims Courts in Charleston County or online under the forms tab.

Q: How do I collect the $50 my neighbor owes me for cleaning his yard and baby-sitting his children?

In order to collect monies owed to you, you must file a summons and complaint at one of the two Small Claims Courts in Charleston County. This will require a filing fee, and you must provide a current address for the person from whom you wish to collect. The Small Claims Court can handle civil claims of up to $7,500.

Q: Where Do I file a Small Claims Case?

Small Claims cases (civil claims under $7,500) are filed with one of the two Small Claims Magistrates' Courts in Charleston County. The Small Claims Court in Charleston is located at 995 Morrison Drive, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The North Charleston Small Claims Court is located at 4045 Bridgeview Drive, Room B146, and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.

Q: I have a judgment from Small Claims Court. How do I have it executed?

Transcripts of Judgment are filed with the Clerk of Court; executions against property are performed by the County Sheriff. Simply bring in your transcript of judgment and file it with the clerk, along with an execution form that must be filled out by you or your attorney. The clerk will sign and seal the execution. Because cases from a lower court may be appealed for 30 days following the judgment, you must wait 30 days before you can have the judgment executed. After the 30-day waiting period, take your transcript of judgment and execution against property to the County Sheriff's office.

Rental & Property

Q: What is a Landlord/Tenant dispute?

A landlord/tenant dispute is generally filed by the tenant against the landlord, for such issues as failure to maintain the rental property, unlawful eviction, or other such complaint. There is a $40 filing fee for Landlord/tenant disputes.

Q: How do I go about evicting a renter for non-payment of rent?

A landlord may file for eviction in Magistrates' Courts. You should contact the Magistrates' Court nearest you for information regarding jurisdiction; the court staff will help you in determining which Magistrates' Court is the one in which you should file your case. You may also obtain the proper forms from the Court. The entire process is in two parts, and may take from 15 to 40 days to complete. Application for eviction may only be made for one of three reasons:

  • The tenant fails or refuses to pay rent when due or demanded.
  • A term or condition of the lease has been violated. In such an instance, the landlord must be able to provide the section of the lease which has been violated.
  • The term of tenancy or occupancy has ended.

It is important to note that you may not file for an Eviction until the tenant is more than five days delinquent in paying their rent (that is, on the sixth day following the day the rent was due) and after you have given proper statutory notice to the tenant. In South Carolina, a verbal rental agreement is as valid as a written contract, so it is not necessary to have a written lease agreement. However, in situations where there is a written agreement, the terms of the lease may take precedence over the Landlord/Tenant act. In other words, if you have a written agreement that gives your tenant fifteen days in which to pay, you cannot file for eviction until the fifteen days have passed.

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A $40 filing fee is attached to the first application, which is the Affidavit and Application of Ejectment and Rule To Show Cause. This paper gives the tenant 10 days from the date of service to settle with the landlord, move, or request a hearing to show cause why s/he should not be evicted. If the tenant does not settle, move, or request the Show Cause hearing at the end of this period, the landlord should make the application for the second paper of the eviction process, which is titled a Writ (or Warrant) Of Ejectment. There is a second $10 filing fee required with this paper. The Court prepares the paperwork and a constable will serve the tenant. This second notice gives the tenant 5 days to settle or vacate. If the tenant fails to respond after 5 days, the landlord may call the court's office to schedule an eviction (put-out) date with the Constable.

Q: When can I evict a renter for non-payment of rent?

A: On the sixth day of the month, if the tenant has not paid rent, the landlord can file for eviction, so long as the landlord has given proper statutory notice to the tenant. In South Carolina courts, a month-to-month or verbal agreement is as valid as a written contract.

Q: What is a Claim and Delivery case?

A Claim and Delivery suit is filed when you wish to repossess certain kinds of property. For example, a furniture rental company may wish to repossess a sofa when the renter fails to make his/her rental payments. Claim and Delivery suits are also commonly filed by finance companies. There is a $65 filing fee for this type of case. You may obtain the proper forms and pay the filing fee in the Magistrates' Court for the area in which the property is located. If you are unsure about which Magistrates' Court serves your area, call any Magistrates' Court for information.

Q: What is a Pre-Distress Warrant?

A Pre-Distress Warrant is generally filed when the plaintiff wishes to seize property belonging to the defendant, in situations where the defendant is the plaintiff's tenant. There is a $40 filing fee for a Pre-Distress Warrant. If a warrant is granted by the judge, any monies collected from the sale of the defendant's property can ONLY be used to cover the amount of rent which is overdue. Pre-Distress warrants are usually (though not always) filed in conjunction with an Eviction.

Q: What is a Sale on Abandoned Property?

This type of case is generally filed by towing companies or storage facilities in situations where property such as a vehicle, boat, furniture or other personal property has been abandoned by the person named as the defendant. The property must be abandoned for a period of 30 days before the case can be filed. The purpose of such a case is to receive permission from the court to sell the property and keep the proceeds to cover the storage charges. There is a filing fee of $35 payable upon the filing of the case.

Appeals & Expungements

Q: How does a person file an appeal on a civil case?

The Court of Common Pleas handles appeals from Small Claims and other Magistrate civil cases. You have 30 days in which to file an appeal on a civil case. Appeals on civil cases are automatically scheduled as non-jury matters, but you can always ask for a jury trial if you wish. Civil appeals are placed on the court's roster and will come before a judge based on the date the appeal was filed. Civil appeals do not take precedence over any other Common Pleas case.

Q: How does a person file an appeal on a criminal case?

You have ten days from the date of your trial to file your appeal with the Magistrates' Court where your case was heard. The Magistrate must then issue his Return and submit it along with your appeal to the Clerk of Court within thirty days. A Circuit Judge will then review the appeal along with the Magistrates Return and render his/her decision.

Q: What is an "expungement"?

An "Expungement" is the destruction or obliteration of criminal records relating to an arrest or a conviction. South Carolina law allows for the destruction of arrest and/or conviction information under the following limited circumstances.

EXPUNGEMENTS INIATED IN SUMMARY COURTS:

Pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws § 17-1-40, the arrest and booking record, files, mug shots, and fingerprints of any person, who after being charged with a criminal offense and such charge is discharged or proceedings against such person dismissed or is found to be innocent of such charge, shall be destroyed and no evidence of such record pertaining to such charge shall be retained by any municipal, county or State law enforcement agency. This does not apply to cases where there was not an arrest and finger print record created.

DISMISSAL OR NON CONVICTION OF OFFENSE

Pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws § 17-1-40, the arrest and booking record, files, mug shots, and fingerprints of any person, who after being charged with a criminal offense and such charge is discharged or proceedings against such person dismissed or is found to be innocent of such charge, shall be destroyed and no evidence of such record pertaining to such charge shall be retained by any municipal, county or State law enforcement agency

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SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF PRE-TRIAL INTERVENTION

Pre-trial Intervention is a diversion program for first-time non-violent criminal offenders. Participants are required to perform, among other things, community restitution and make monetary restitution to their victims. South Carolina Code of Laws § 17-22-150 allows offenders, who successfully complete the pretrial intervention program to apply to the court for an order to destroy all official records relating to his arrest. The effect of the order is to restore the person, in the contemplation of the law, to the status he occupied before the arrest. No person, as to whom the order has been entered, may be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his failure to recite or acknowledge the arrest in response to any inquiry made of him for any purpose.

FRAUDULENT CHECKS

After a first offense conviction of fraudulent intent in drawing check, draft or other written order, the defendant may, after one year from the date of the conviction, apply, or cause someone acting on his behalf to apply, to the court for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction. This provision does not apply to any crime classified as a felony (that is, any check valued in excess of Five Thousand Dollars). If the defendant has had no other conviction during the one-year period following the conviction under this section, the court shall issue an order expunging the records. No person has any rights under this section more than one time. See South Carolina Code of Laws § 34-11-90(e).

SIMPLE POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA - First Offense

Pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws § 44-53-450(b), any person who has been sentenced to a "Conditional Discharge" for their first offense of simple possession of marijuana, may, upon completion of the sentencing requirements, apply to the court for an order to expunge from all official records all information relating to his arrest, indictment, trial, finding of guilty, and dismissal and discharge pursuant to this section. No person as to whom such order has been entered shall be held thereafter under any provision of any law to be guilty of perjury or otherwise giving a false statement by reason of his failures to recite or acknowledge such arrest, or indictment or information, or trial in response to any inquiry made of him for any purpose.

FIRST OFFENSE CONVICTIONS IN MAGISTRATE'S OR MUNICIPAL COURT

Under South Carolina Code of Laws § 22-5-910, a defendant may apply three years after the date of the conviction for an order expunging the records of the arrest and conviction of a first offense conviction in a magistrate's court or a municipal court. However, this section does not apply to any of the following offenses:

  1. Offenses involving the operation of a motor vehicle,

  2. Violations of Title 50 (Fish, Game and Watercraft) or the regulations promulgated under it for which points are assessed, suspension provided for, or enhanced penalties for subsequent offenses authorized,

  3. Offenses contained in Chapter 25 of Title 16 (Criminal Domestic Violence) except first offense criminal domestic violence as contained in Section 16-25-20, which may be expunged five years from the date of the conviction.

If the defendant has had no other conviction during the three-year period following the first offense conviction in a magistrate's court or a municipal court, the circuit court may issue an order expunging the records. No person may have his records expunged under this section more than once.

The office of the South Carolina Court Administration has designed a form Order which must be used for all expungements. The Order must be consented to by the Circuit Solicitor and approved and signed by the Circuit Judge.

The Solicitor will consent to every case in which a properly completed proposed Order is presented to him along with all documentation, certification from the Court, and prior criminal record check necessary to confirm that the defendant is lawfully entitled to the expungement.

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Legal Counsel

Q: Can you give me advice about my lawsuit?

Summary Court staff is not permitted to give legal advice, nor can they give you an opinion regarding your legal questions. Persons seeking advice or acting as their own attorneys should consult the most recent edition of South Carolina Rules of Court, or contact the S.C. Senate for Equal Justice at (803) 720-7044.

Q: How can I find a lawyer?

For information on attorney referrals you may contact the S.C. Lawyers Referral Service at (800) 868-2284. Defendants in criminal proceedings have a right to a lawyer, and are entitled to have counsel appointed at government expense if they are financially unable to obtain adequate representation by private counsel. For more information, contact theCharleston County Public Defender's Office at (843) 958-1850. There is no right to free legal assistance in civil proceedings. Some litigants proceed pro se; that is, they represent themselves before the court. It is common for litigants in Magistrates' Civil and Small Claims cases to act as their own attorneys.

Q: Can you recommend an attorney or law firm to me?

Personnel in the Magistrates' Courts are prohibited from referring you to an attorney.

Q: Can I act as my own attorney when filing a case?

Yes, you have the right to act as your own attorney. Magistrates' Court office staff cannot give you any advice regarding the law, however they can explain court procedures to you so that you may make a more informed decision.

Case Inquiries

Q: How can I check on the status of my case? Can I review case files?

Your lawyer, who likely is familiar with local court practice, is your best resource. If you are acting as your own attorney, you may call or visit the Magistrates' Court where your case is filed. Generally, all documents filed in Magistrates' Courts are public records and are available at the court in which they were filed. Many of the Magistrates' Courts case records are available at this Web site through the Interactive Search for Public Access Cases.

Q: How can I find out when my case is coming up for trial (or another scheduled event such as a hearing?)

You can check on the events for which your case has been scheduled by linking to ourInteractive Search for Public Access Cases and inquiring on your case number (if known) or by your name. You may also wish to contact the clerk at the Magistrates' Court at which your case is scheduled to be heard.

Q: Do you provide case and judgment information to companies such as credit bureaus?

The clerks are unable to look up and give out case information to credit bureaus and other companies. While this information is available to the public, companies with an interest in obtaining such information must perform the research themselves. All the information is available via public access computer terminals in the Charleston County Clerk of Court's office or through Public Access Case Inquiry features available at this web site.

Frequently Asked Questions | Magistrates/Summary Courts (1)

Magistrates/Summary Court Administration

Lonnie Hamilton, III Public Service Building
Frequently Asked Questions | Magistrates/Summary Courts (2)4045 Bridge View Drive, Suite B143
North Charleston, SC 29405

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Phone: (843)202-6600
Fax: (843)202-6604

Mailing Address:
PO Box 20190
North Charleston, SC 29413-0190

Office Hours:
Mon. - Fri. 8:30am - 5pm

FAQs

Do magistrates deal with summary cases? ›

A magistrates' court normally handles cases known as 'summary offences', for example: most motoring offences. minor criminal damage.

What is an acceptable excuse for missing court UK? ›

Everyone who is summoned to give evidence as a witness in court is required to appear. However, you may be so sick that you cannot attend, and thus have a valid excuse not to appear at the designated time. You may be asked to provide documentation of your illness, which you can do by obtaining a doctor's certificate.

What is the longest sentence a magistrates can give? ›

Magistrates have sentencing powers that allow them to impose a range of sentences, including unlimited fines, bans, community orders and up to 12 months' custody, depending on the offence. Find out more about the different types of sentence and see the guidelines for sentencing offences in magistrates' courts.

Can CPS charge you without evidence? ›

Before charging, the CPS must be satisfied that there is enough evidence. This means there must be a realistic prospect of conviction in relation to each accused and for each and every charge.

Is there a time limit on summary offences? ›

Summary Only Offences

In general, proceedings must be commenced within six months of the criminal act that is being complained of. There are however many exceptions to this rule. These exceptions in particular will apply to the following types of offence: welfare benefits.

How long after a summary offence can you be charged? ›

The general rule for time limits on summary only offences is that prosecutions will be time barred if information is laid more than six months after the date of the offence.

What is a good reason not to go to court? ›

A valid emergency can serve as an excuse for missing a court date. Some examples of legitimate emergencies include: An emergency room visit for a sudden, debilitating medical condition. A sick child.

What are some of the reasons to not go to court? ›

Acceptable Excuses to Fail to Appear in Court
  • You Were Not Notified of Your Hearing. One of the most common valid excuses to miss a court hearing is when you were not properly notified of the date within a reasonable amount of time. ...
  • You Have a Health or Family Emergency. ...
  • Your Lawyer Has Withdrawn.

How much evidence is needed to convict UK? ›

5. The burden of proving the guilt of the defendant lies on the prosecution, who must prove the particulars of the offence beyond reasonable doubt; the jury or magistrates should only convict if they are sure of the defendant's guilt.

Who Cannot be a magistrate? ›

Magistrates come from a range of backgrounds; they are ordinary people with common sense and the capacity to make fair decisions. You must be aged between 18 and 70 and have no serious past criminal convictions.

Can magistrates dismiss a case? ›

If you simply fail to prove an offence at court, you should not seek to withdraw the charge, but should leave it for the magistrates to dismiss. 12. If you intend to withdraw a charge at court, you should inform the legal adviser of your intention before the court convenes.

Do magistrates send people to jail? ›

Magistrates will be able to issue jail sentences of up to one year for a single offence to help ease the backlog in the Crown Court from today.

Can CPS drop a case before trial? ›

Discontinuance. Alternatively, the CPS may simply choose to 'drop' the charges, which is known technically as 'discontinuance'. You do not have to go to court, which will no doubt be a relief. But as opposed to a formal acquittal, the CPS can restart the case at a later date – although the same evidence must be used.

Is a witness statement enough to convict? ›

What is reassuring for defendants is that whilst a signed statement from a complainant is enough for a charge, it is not necessarily enough to secure a conviction. The complainant must be able to convince the jury or magistrates that the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

How do the CPS decide which cases to prosecute? ›

Once the police consider that they have enough evidence they will pass the case to the CPS. We will review the evidence and consider whether we can bring a prosecution. If the police don't think they have enough evidence they won't pass the case to us and no further action will be taken against the suspect.

Are summary offences less serious? ›

SUMMARY OFFENCES AND INDICTABLE MATTERS

Summary offences are less serious offences such as traffic offences and petty crime. In New South Wales, summary offences have a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment.

What is the highest sentence for summary offences? ›

These offences are punishable by a maximum fine of 20 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of up to two years.

Can you be charged with a summary offence after 6 months? ›

Summary Only Offences

S. 127 of the Magistrates' Court Act 1980 enforces a strict time limit of 6 months from the time the offence is committed for the information to be 'laid on the court' in the majority of cases. There are some niche exceptions which apply to this rule.

What is the default maximum sentence for a summary conviction offence? ›

A few summary conviction offences carry higher maximum penalties, such as the offence of sexual assault, which carries a maximum jail sentence of 18 months. There is a six-month limitation period for summary conviction offences. A person cannot be charged more than six months after the incident occurred.

What Offences are summary only? ›

Examples of summary only offences include: Shoplifting (Section 22A(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980) Common assault (Section 39 Criminal Justice Act 1988) Driving without insurance (Section 143 of the Road Traffic Act 1988)

What are examples of summary offences? ›

Examples of summary offences are disorderly behaviour, driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug and minor criminal damage to property. People charged with summary offences cannot be tried by juries even if they would prefer it.

How do I not get nervous for court? ›

Stand when the judge enters and sit when the judge or bailiff asks you to. Try to remain calm but it is OK if you show emotion. Take deep breaths if you feel yourself getting tense. Never lose your temper in the courtroom.

Do judges have to give reasons? ›

Breadcrumb. There is no general common law duty to provide reasoned decisions. However, a recent Outer House judgment has served as a reminder that the basic principles applicable to the giving of reasons have developed to such an extent that it is now expected in most circumstances.

What are three alternatives to going to court? ›

What Are Three Alternatives to Going to Court?
  • Arbitration: One Alternative Over Going to Court. ...
  • Collaborative Law: The Second Court Alternative. ...
  • Mediation: The Third Alternative to Going to Court. ...
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Why do most cases never go to trial? ›

It's no secret that the overwhelming majority of criminal cases never reach trial. The prosecution may dismiss charges, perhaps because of a lack of evidence. Sometimes prosecutors decide not to refile charges after a felony defendant prevails at the preliminary hearing.

Is it better to attend court? ›

The Trial. It is important to attend Court promptly for your trial. Each trial has a specific time slot allocated. You should also make sure that your witnesses also attend.

Can a doctor excuse you from court? ›

If you want to be excused on medical grounds, you will need to provide a letter from your doctor specifically saying that you are not fit to attend court. This is different from a normal work sick note because a person may be able to come to court even if they cannot perform their work duties.

What happens if there is not enough evidence? ›

In a trial, if the prosecution finishes presenting their case and the judge finds they have not met their burden of proof, the judge may dismiss the case (even before the defense presents their side) for insufficient evidence.

How much evidence is enough? ›

The preponderance of the evidence standard is met if there's more than a 50% chance that something is true.

Can you be convicted without evidence? ›

Evidence is how guilt is proven in court. Since guilt must be proven to convict, a conviction is not possible without evidence. Of course, this is not as simple as the old adage, “no body, no crime,” as there are many types of evidence available. Evidence is require to support any conviction.

What is a magistrate judge called? ›

The correct title for a United States Magistrate Judge is "United States Magistrate Judge," "U.S. Magistrate Judge," or "Magistrate Judge."

What are the 6 key qualities of magistrates? ›

19.2 The six key qualities sought in those applying to become magistrates are, good character, understanding and communication, social awareness, maturity and sound temperament, sound judgment and commitment and reliability (see section 6).

What are three duties of a magistrate? ›

To appreciate the role of a magistrate in the judicial process, it is necessary to understand how magistrates perform their basic duties.
  • To Issue Arrest Warrants.
  • To Issue Search Warrants.
  • To Admit to Bail or Commit to Jail.
  • To Issue Warrants and Subpoenas.
  • To Issue Civil Warrants.

How serious is magistrates court? ›

“Summary” offences – can be heard only in magistrates' court

These are less serious cases such as low level motoring offences, disorderly behaviour, TV licence payment evasion and minor assaults.

Can magistrates be biased? ›

It is actually very rare for a judge to be recused because of bias, or possible bias, but, as the first case shows, it can happen. If you feel that the judge dealing with your case may be biased, then you should raise the matter with an expert family lawyer, as soon as possible.

Do defendants have to give evidence in court? ›

Defendants have a qualified right against self-incrimination which they can exercise by choosing not to give evidence at trial. Defendants can similarly decline to answer questions when interviewed by the police or other prosecuting authority.

What crimes go to magistrates court? ›

District Judges (Magistrates' courts) hear criminal cases, youth cases, and some civil proceedings in Magistrates' courts. They can also be authorised to hear cases in the Family Court.

Should I wear a suit to magistrates court? ›

There is no formal dress code for defendants attending Court, and you should wear appropriate and comfortable clothing.

What crimes get 3 years in jail UK? ›

three years for a third domestic burglary. five years for certain firearms offences. six months for a second offence of possessing a weapon.
...
There are a number of different types of prison sentence that the courts can impose:
  • Suspended sentences.
  • Determinate sentences.
  • Extended sentences.
  • Life sentences.

Can CPS decide not to prosecute? ›

Examples of where the CPS might step in and discontinue a case are where the privately prosecuted case interferes with another criminal prosecution or investigation or where the accused has already been dealt with for the offence by way of an out-of-court disposal such as a caution or conditional caution, or where the ...

Can you overturn a CPS decision? ›

Judicial review

Following the conclusion of the VRR process, there is no scope for any further review by the CPS. If the victim remains dissatisfied with the decision, and/or wishes to challenge it further, then the victim should consider the merits of applying to the High Court for a judicial review of the decision.

How do CPS decide to charge? ›

The CPS will take into account the safety of the victim, and any others (including children) who are involved. They also take the views of the victim into consideration when deciding whether to proceed with a prosecution – but this is not the sole determining factor.

How do you prove a witness is lying? ›

While not an exhaustive list, these verbal and non-verbal signs of deception are more common than some of the others we've seen.
  1. Premise. ...
  2. Verbal Indicators. ...
  3. No Response/Non-Responsive. ...
  4. Delayed Response. ...
  5. Repeating the Question. ...
  6. No Denial. ...
  7. Overly Specific/Overly Vague. ...
  8. Protest Statements.

Are statements enough evidence? ›

Testimony is a kind of evidence, and it is often the only evidence that a judge has when deciding a case. When you are under oath in court and you are testifying to the judge, what you say is considered to be truthful unless it is somehow challenged (“rebutted”) by the other party.

How do you discredit a witness in court? ›

The three most often used methods to impair witness credibility include prior inconsistent statements, character evidence and case-specific impeachment.

How does the CPS decide if the evidence is sufficient? ›

The evidential test.

At the current stage and throughout the case, whether there is any material that may affect the assessment of the sufficiency of evidence, including examined and unexamined material in the possession of the police and material that may be obtained through further reasonable lines of inquiry.

How much evidence do the CPS need? ›

These are: There are reasonable grounds to suspect that the person to be charged has committed the offence. Further evidence can be obtained to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. The seriousness or the circumstances of the case justifies the making of an immediate charging decision.

What 2 tests do the CPS use? ›

The Full Code Test

Stage one of the test requires prosecutors to assess the evidence in each case and decide whether there is a reasonable prospect of conviction. Stage two of the test, which kicks in only once stage one has been satisfied, requires consideration of whether a prosecution is in the public interest.

What cases do the magistrates deal with? ›

District Judges (Magistrates' courts) hear criminal cases, youth cases, and some civil proceedings in Magistrates' courts. They can also be authorised to hear cases in the Family Court.

Who are summary offences heard by? ›

Crimes which can only be heard and decided by a magistrate in the magistrates court are called summary offences. In general, these offences are less serious than indictable offences and the penalties that can be imposed are not as great.

What kind of cases go to magistrate court? ›

A magistrates' court normally handles cases known as 'summary offences', for example: most motoring offences. minor criminal damage. common assault (not causing significant injury)

What do magistrates usually deal with? ›

Magistrates are trained, unpaid members of their local community, who work part-time and deal with less serious criminal cases, such as minor theft, criminal damage, public disorder and motoring offences.

What sort of Offences are summary only? ›

Summary only offences

These are the less serious offences such as: motoring offences. less serious assaults. other regulatory offences.

How do magistrates make decisions? ›

Magistrates listen carefully to all evidence given in court and follow structured decision-making processes (such as sentencing guidelines in criminal cases) and case law to reach fair decisions. They are advised on points of law by a legal adviser who sits in court with them.

How are summary offences dealt with? ›

In NSW, summary offences have a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment. For an offence to be a summary offence, the statute that creates the offence must clearly say that it can be dealt with summarily. If it does not, then the offence is an indictable offence. Indictable offences require a trial by judge and jury.

Who decides summary or indictable? ›

Some examples of indictable offences include theft over $5,000, breaking and entering, sexual assault and murder. Whereas summary offences are only held before a judge, most indictable offences can be decided either by a judge or a jury.

Why do cases go to magistrates court first? ›

1. Summary offences (can be heard only in the magistrates' court). If you are facing a summary offence, you will be asked at the magistrates' court if you plead guilty or not guilty. A not guilty plea means your case will be adjourned (put back to a later date) for trial.

How long does a magistrates court case take? ›

Time between the first hearing and completion at the magistrates': 9 days. Time between the sending of the case to Crown Court to the start of trial: 119 days. Time between the start of the trial and the completion of the trial: 50 days.

What are three duties of a Magistrate? ›

To appreciate the role of a magistrate in the judicial process, it is necessary to understand how magistrates perform their basic duties.
  • To Issue Arrest Warrants.
  • To Issue Search Warrants.
  • To Admit to Bail or Commit to Jail.
  • To Issue Warrants and Subpoenas.
  • To Issue Civil Warrants.

What do the 3 magistrates do? ›

What magistrates do. Magistrates are volunteers who hear cases in courts in their community. They can hear cases in the criminal court, the family court, or both. Each case is usually heard by 3 magistrates, including a magistrate who is trained to act as a chairperson.

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