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  Criminals and the law
1: Someone breaks the law
2: Charges
3: Remand
4: Get ready for court
5: The Magistrates' Court
6: The Crown Court
7: The Sentence
Anti-social behaviour orders
New laws about kids on the streets

 
Inside Bow Street magistrates' court 5: The Magistrates' Court
Most defendants now appear in this kind of court. There is no jury of ordinary people, the magistrates (or judges) make the decisions.

The defendant has to say if they are 'guilty' or 'not guilty'.

If the defendant says that they are guilty then the magistrates make their decision over what the punishment will be. This is also called 'sentencing'.

If the defendant says they are not guilty then the Crown Prosecution Service tells the court why they think they are guilty.

For the most serious crimes, like murder, the defendant has to go to the Crown Court.


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