Those charged with domestic abuse or violence offences can expect to be given a date to attend their local Magistrates Court. Defendants involved in more serious cases may be held in custody to be taken to court at the earliest opportunity. At the Magistrates’ Court the magistrates will decide whether the matter will be heard at the Crown Court or the Magistrates’ Court, this decision will be based on the seriousness of the offence. Defendants will also be asked to enter a plea at this first hearing. Offences such as common assault and lower-value criminal damage will remain in the Magistrates’ Court unless they are charged alongside more serious offences. Those held in custody by the police will have the opportunity to apply for bail during this first hearing. Cases that remain in the Magistrates’ Court will be adjourned to a later date for either sentence or trial depending on whether guilty or not guilty pleas are entered.