Criminal courts in Scotland

There are three types of criminal courts in Scotland. Each deals with certain types of crimes, has fixed powers of punishment and operates in its own way.

Three Scottish Courts and the types of crimes tried there
CourtTypes of CrimeMaximum SentenceWho decides?
The High CourtSerious offences: murder, rape, robberyLife imprisonment or unlimited finesJury
The Sheriff CourtSerious and minor offences: eg theft and serious driving offencesJail sentence of up to two years or unlimited fine (if Jury Court)Jury (or, in some cases, Sheriff alone)
Justice of the Peace CourtMinor offences: failure to pay fines, minor assaults, thefts, etcJail sentence of up to 60 days imprisonment and finesJustice of the Peace