Guide To Westminster Magistrates’ Court
Westminster Magistrates’ Court deals with a variety of criminal cases. Westminster Magistrates’ Court generally deals with cases originating from police stations in Paddington, West End Central, Euston and Charing Cross. All extradition and terrorism-related cases are also initially heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
How do I know when to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court?
If you were charged at a police station following an arrest and interview, you will receive a charge sheet whilst you are at the police station. The charge sheet will set out which Magistrates’ court you need to attend and on what date and time. You will either be released on bail or held in custody until the date of your court appearance.
Alternatively, you may receive a postal requisition. You will receive this document in the post and similarly to a charge sheet, this will set out the Magistrates’ court name and the date and time you need to attend. The postal requisition will also state the alleged offence(s) and a summary of the facts. Relevant witness statements may also be included.
If a member of the Hodge Jones & Allen criminal defence team assisted you at the police station and you are charged with an offence, we will contact to you to confirm the date and time of your hearing.
When should I arrive at Westminster Magistrates’ Court?
We advise that you arrive at Westminster Magistrates’ Court at least 45 minutes before the time given on your postal requisition or charge sheet.
When you arrive at the court, you will need to go through security. There is often a queue to get through security so it is important that you arrive within plenty of time.
You will also need to check exactly where you need to go, as there are a number of different courtrooms within Westminster Magistrates’ Court. If you do not have legal representation, you will need to check the listings which are displayed in the court waiting area. This will tell you the court room that your case will be heard. There are court staff on site who can assist you with this.
If you are represented by Hodge Jones & Allen, we will call you the day before your hearing to inform you of the court number. We will also agree to meet you before the hearing to discuss your case.
What happens if I do not attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court?
It is extremely important that you attend every court appearance, unless you are specifically told that you do not need to attend. If you do not attend court at the required date and time, a warrant can be issued for your arrest. This means that the police can arrest you and hold you in the cells until your case is dealt with.
Failing to attend court is a separate offence for which you can be prosecuted. You may receive a fine or be sent to prison, or both.
If you have a reasonable excuse for not attending court, such as you are too sick to attend. You must notify your solicitors or the court as soon as possible. Please note that you will likely be asked to provide medical evidence of your illness.
How do I get to Westminster Magistrates’ Court?
Westminster Magistrates’ Court is located at 181 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5BR.
Marylebone Underground Station (Bakerloo Line) and Marylebone train station are a five minute walk from the court. Edgeware Road Station (Circle, District and Hammersmith and City Lines) is also a five minute walk from the court.
There are a number of bus stops located just outside the court. Bus routes 18, 27, 205, N18, N27 and N205 serve these bus stops.
Please note that there is no parking at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. There are private car parks in the area but it is advised to use public transport, if possible.
What facilitates are available at Westminster Magistrates’ Court?
There are a number of facilities available at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
The court has disabled access and toilet facilities, and can provide hidden disability lanyards upon request. Assistance dogs are also welcome at the court. If you require a hearing enhancement system, a portable system is available however you must contact the court before the hearing to inform them of your requirements.
The court has limited refreshments available in the building, however there are a number of places nearby to purchase food, coffee and other refreshments.
The court has 14 interview rooms so that you can meet with your legal representative prior to and after your hearing to discuss your case privately.
Finally, the court has video conferencing facilities and prison to court video link facilities should these be required. These must be arranged prior to the hearing.
Contacting Westminster Magistrates’ Court
The court is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 4.30pm and on Saturday between 9am and 1pm. The court counter is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 11.30am and 1.30pm to 2.30pm.
Representation at Westminster Magistrates’ Court
Solicitors in the Hodge Jones & Allen criminal defence team regularly represent clients at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
If you have received a postal requisition, please contact our new enquiries team and we can provide advice and represent you at your hearing (subject to capacity).
Our solicitors also attend police stations served by Westminster Magistrates’ Court, so we are able to represent you at both your police station interview and subsequent hearings.
For assistance regarding an upcoming hearing, please call 0808 271 9413 to speak to a member of the Criminal Defence team, or submit an online form. For police emergencies, please call the Criminal Defence Helpline on 0808 274 8226. Our helplines are available 24 hours a day.