Magistrates Court Procedure
All cases that have been charged at the police station or are sent a postal requisition begin in the Magistrates Court.
This would be the first hearing in this matter, where you would either plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, your case may be adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report about you by the national probation service. Your case, however, could also be dealt with on the day with an interview with the probation service so that matters can be resolved as quickly as possible.
If you plead not guilty and your case remains in the Magistrates Court for a trial or further hearing, then it is likely that a trial in the Magistrates Court will take approximately 12-16 weeks before it is heard from your first appearance. During that time, we will continue to represent you and prepare your case to be able to assist you at trial. There are some delays currently caused by the coronavirus, meaning that your trial may take slightly longer to be heard.
If you are refused bail by the police, you would appear before the next available court. Currently, this is a virtual court, and usually your case is heard either the same day or the next day. A bail application would be made on your behalf if you so wish, and the court will make a decision as to whether you are bailed for any further hearings to take place or whether you will remain in custody. Further bail applications can be made if you are remanded in custody.
We will ensure that we discuss your case at every stage with you and keep you up to date.