Indictable offences

These are more serious offences and are dealt with in the crown court.

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Sending Indictable Only Cases to the Crown Court:

These offences are complicated and more serious than Summary offences and include murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery and arson amongst others and must be tried in the Crown Court. The term can also include 'triable either-way' offences if the magistrates' court decides that, on hearing the initial facts, it should be tried on indictment because of the seriousness of the case.

These types of offences can lead to a long term of imprisonment due to their seriousness.

If someone is to be charged with this type of offence they will appear before the Magistrates' Court in the first instance where the question of bail or custody will be dealt with before the case being sent to the Crown Court for trial. The defendant will be 'tried on indictment' in the Crown Court before a judge and jury.

The term Indictment refers to the formal document which sets out the offences (hence indictable offences) and the details of the allegations the defendant faces. The prosecution will prepare the indictment. The indictment will be put to the defendant in the Crown Court at a Plea and Case Management Hearing, at this time he will be asked to plead guilty or not guilty to each count.

There are strict procedural requirements covering how the indictment should be set out and time limits for service of the indictment. Failure to observe these procedures can result in the failure of the trial.








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