Become A Magistrate
A friend of ours recently retired and he has always wanted to give back to the community so he applied to become a magistrate. Becoming a Magistrate is an interesting idea for people who have lots of patience and want to fill their time doing good and giving back. But exactly what does a magistrate do?
What Does A Magistrate Do?
The Gov.UK site explains that Magistrates are volunteers who hear cases in courts in their community. Each case is usually heard by 3 magistrates, including a magistrate who is trained to act as a chairperson. A legal adviser in the court gives advice on the law and makes sure the magistrates follow the right procedures.
The Gov.UK goest on to explain that all criminal cases begin in a magistrates’ court. Magistrates pass the most serious crimes (eg murder, rape and robbery) to the Crown Court. Magistrates decide if the defendant should be:
- kept in custody - eg a police or court cell
- let out on strict conditions - eg to keep away from named places or peopleMagistrates deal with crimes like:
If you'd like to be a Magistrate in your retirement you'll have to deal with crimes such as:
- minor assaults
- motoring offences
- handling stolen goods
If you are chosen to become a Magistrate, you may be able to pass punishments along the lines of:
- unpaid work in the community
- prison for up to 6 months (or up to 12 months for more than 1 crime)
Civil And Family Cases
By giving back during your retirement as a volunteer Magistrate, you will be able to hear some civil and family cases which can involve the following cases below, but be aware that only experienced magistrates who have had special training can hear family cases.
- unpaid Council Tax
- TV licence evasion
- child custody and adoption
- taking children into care