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.
|Court||Types of Crime||Maximum Sentence||Who decides?|
|The High Court||Serious offences: murder, rape, robbery||Life imprisonment or unlimited fines||Jury|
|The Sheriff Court||Serious and minor offences: eg theft and serious driving offences||Jail sentence of up to two years or unlimited fine (if Jury Court)||Jury (or, in some cases, Sheriff alone)|
|Justice of the Peace Court||Minor offences: failure to pay fines, minor assaults, thefts, etc||Jail sentence of up to 60 days imprisonment and fines||Justice of the Peace|