The magistrates court and youth offenders court

All offenders being dealt with by the criminal justice system in England will pass through the magistrates' court as the first step and more serious offences will be passed to a higher court. Offences such as indecent exposure and procurement for sexual purposes, which have a tariff of less than 6 months, can be dealt with at the magistrates' court alone. Offences that hold a greater tariff are referred on to a higher court. These would include offences such as rape and gross indecency.

At magistrates' court level a psychiatrist may be required to give written and/or oral evidence (by the magistrate, defence or prosecution lawyers, probation officers, etc.) either as an adjunct to a sentence passed by that court or prior to referral on to a higher court.

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