A summons, for offences such as speeding, careless driving, drink driving etc… is issued in the Magistrates’ Court, although the case may then be transferred to the Crown Court. More serious offences are dealt with by arrest and charge.
The summons is the formal issuing of a prosecution in the Magistrates’ Court, normally follows on from a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and will detail:
- Your Name and Address
- The Informant’s name and contact details
- The Court Name and Address
- The offence(s) you are alleged to have committed
- Time and Date of a hearing to appear at Court on a specified time and date.
The summons will detail the summary facts. If you are alleged to have committed multiple offences you may find you receive more than one summons, though in practice all offences are often detailed on a single summons.
Once issued, the summons will be served on you, usually by post. It is acceptable to be sent to your last known address, so if you have moved and not informed the DVLA you will not know about the summons and will miss your Court date as a result. If this is the case the Magistrates have the power to convict in your absence or in certain cases issue a warrant for your arrest.
Do not ignore a Court Summons, and do not think of not showing up at Court. If you do either of these the Magistrates can issue warrant for your arrest and you may find yourself on the receiving end of a visit from the Police, as well as facing additional charges to the one(s) you were facing in the first place.
If you need information on a specific Magistrates’ Court please use the Government Court Finder services.