Allocation and sending—either-way offences not sent forthwith to the Crown Court for trial
Allocation and sending—either-way offences not sent forthwith to the Crown Court for trial

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Allocation and sending—either-way offences not sent forthwith to the Crown Court for trial
  • Procedure for either-way offences not sent forthwith to the Crown Court for trial: plea before venue and allocation
  • Plea before venue under MCA 1980, s 17A
  • Indication of a not-guilty plea in certain circumstances
  • Decision as to allocation
  • Decision that trial on indictment appears more suitable
  • Decision that summary trial appears more suitable
  • Indication of sentence
  • Defendant consents to summary trial
  • Defendant does not consent to summary trial

Procedure for either-way offences not sent forthwith to the Crown Court for trial: plea before venue and allocation

Where the court decides that a case should be tried at the Crown Court, it should be send forthwith as committal proceedings have now been abolished.

Unless an either-way offence is sent straight to the Crown Court for trial either because the offence is indictable-only or falls under the certain circumstances highlighted in the Practice Note: Allocation and Sending for Trial—Sending of Cases Forthwith to the Crown Court for Trial, the court should proceed with the plea before venue under section 17A of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (MCA 1980) and allocation.

The procedure to be followed is contained in Criminal Procedure Rules 2020, SI 2020/759, Pt 9 (CrimPR).

Plea before venue under MCA 1980, s 17A

The allegation should be put to the defendant in clear terms and the court must then ensure that the following are explained to them:

  1. that the offence can be tried in either the magistrates' court or the Crown Court

  2. when asked, if the defendant indicates that they intend to plead guilty, the court must treat that as a guilty plea and must sentence the defendant or commit the defendant to the Crown Court for sentence

  3. if the defendant fails to indicate a plea, or indicates that they will not enter a guilty

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