Person guilty of crime may be punished bye fines payable to the state imprisonment or a community-based punishment. The prosecution is brought in the name of the crown against the alleged wrongdoer, the accused in a criminal trail, the burden of proof to convict the accused rests with the prosecution, which must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
All criminal cases begin in magistrates courts where the case is introduced into the system. Certain types of offence are known as indictable offences; these are serious offences and can only be heard in a crown court. Other, less serious summary offences are heard summarily in the magistrates ‘ court.
Where an offence falls in between the two it can be ‘triable either way’: This means the defendant will have the choices to be tried by the magistrate of at the crown court in front of a jury.
Where the decision in a criminal case is appealed against a court further up the hierarchy will hear it. Appeal from magistrates’ court are either to the crown court or the Queen’ Bench Division of the HIGH COURT. Appeal can be by way of ‘case stated’, in other word the law was misinterpreted by the magistrate.
Appeals from magistrates’ courts are either to the crown court or the Queen’s Bench division of the high court. Appeals against conviction or sentence from the crown court are heard at the court of appeal and this may in turn be appealed to the house of lords it it is in the public interest. Case stated appeals from the crown court are made to QBD 1.