Until the criminal law act 1967 and the coming into force of sec 1, felonies were treated as serious offences.

Until the commencement of the Criminal Law Act 1967 and the coming into force of section 1 in particular, a crime could be classified as either a treason, felon or misdemeanour. The distinction at common law between felony and misdemeanour was that the former was considered to be a serious offence and the latter was treated as a minor offence. Attempts to adhere to such classifications became increasingly more confusing and eventually, in 1967, any distinctions between felony and misdemeanour were abolished.


There is still a need to classify offences as these classifications determine the procedures for dealing with the offence. Offences are now classified as indictable or summary. This classification can be generally taken to mean serious (indictable) or minor (summary).


Some offences can be considered to be serious or minor depending upon the circumstances.


Offences triable either way is an offence which can be tried either on indictment at the Crown Court or summarily before the magistrates' court. There are procedures laid down by the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 as amended which regulate how the matter is allocated to either the Crown Court or the magistrates' court for trial.


Summary Offences

Indictable Offences

Either Way Offences

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