Many minor criminal offences are dealt with by a single magistrate, without going to court, under the ‘Single Justice Procedure’ which was introduced under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.
Nazaqat Maqsoom of Kangs Solicitors provides an overview of this procedure.
What is a Single Justice Procedure Notice? | Kangs Criminal Procedure Experts
- Pursuing a prosecution by way of a Single Justice Procedure Notice (SJPN’) is designed to enable a case to be processed quickly and to save court time where a full court hearing is not necessary.
- A SJPN should only be issued where an adult is charged with a ‘summary only’ non-imprisonable offence.
The Procedure | Kangs SJPN Advisory Solicitors
- In appropriate cases, a SJPN will be issued which will state which authority has commenced the proceedings, set out the procedure for entering a plea of ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ and the time limits to be observed.
- In the event of a ‘not guilty plea’, the court will advise when a hearing will take place for the defence to be put forward.
- If the court receives no response within the prescribed time limit, a magistrate will make a decision about the case without further notice which may result in a higher penalty than may otherwise have been the case.
- In the event of a ‘guilty plea’, the defendant can choose whether or not to attend court.
If it is decided not to attend court the matter will be dealt with by a single magistrate:
- not in a formal court but in an office within the court building, on paper only
- in private, (defence solicitors, prosecutors, witnesses and police officers are not allowed to be present)
- on an unspecified date, notice of which is not given
- who will consider the case on the basis of the evidence submitted in writing by the Prosecutor and any written mitigation from the Defendant.
- who can convict, sentence or dismiss the charge as appropriate.
- who, if he considers it, at any time, inappropriate to conduct the case under the SJPN procedure, may refer it to a traditional Magistrates’ Court.
Cases Regularly Resolved By A SJPN | Kangs Magistrates’ Court Team
Offences frequently resolved in this manner include:
- motoring offences that do not carry mandatory disqualification
- TV Licensing Offences
- Railways Ticketing Offences
How Can We Help? | Kangs Magistrates’ Court Solicitors
If you require advice or assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch and speak with one of our team named below who will be happy to assist.