At Emergency Lawyers we know that attending court can be a stressful experience. To try and ease your nerves as much possible we have created guides to all of Scotland’s courts. These cover how to get there, what to expect when you arrive and what you need to do.
What court hears your case will depend largely on the nature of the charges. If you have been cited or indicted to court in Dundee, you will end up in one of Dundee’s two courts: the Dundee Sheriff Court or the Justice of the Peace Court. Both are located at 6 West Bell Street.
Dundee Justice of the Peace Court
Dundee’s Justice of the Peace Court deals with minor summary cases, including speeding, careless driving and breach of the peace. In Justice of the Peace Courts a Justice of the Peace will either sit alone or with two additional Justices. In all cases the Justice sits without a jury.
A Justice of the Peace is a lay magistrate, appointed from within the local community and trained in criminal law and procedure. The Justice is often aided by lawyers who act as clerk of the court. This means they provide advice on the law and legal procedure.
The powers of a Justice of the Peace are quite limited. The Justice can sentence someone to a maximum imprisonment of sixty days and can impose fines of up to £2,500.
When you arrive report to the reception desk and they will direct you to where you need to go. Expect security checks similar to those at airports. Security staff may search your possessions. When you have found the right part of the court, inform an official and they will confirm exactly when your case will be heard.
Dundee Sheriff Court
The majority of cases in and around Dundee are dealt with in the Sheriff Court. Unless your charge is serious enough to be heard in a Supreme Court or minor enough to be heard in the Justice of the Peace Court, you will likely be called to the Dundee Sheriff Court.
When you arrive you should report to the reception desk and they will direct you to the correct part of the building. When you have found the right part of the court, inform a court official and they will confirm exactly when your case will be heard.
If you would like us to attend court with you, we can meet you beforehand and arrange everything on your behalf. This lets you remain as stress-free as possible throughout the day.
The powers of Dundee Sheriff Court, like all Sheriff Courts, are limited. The court can sentence an accused to a maximum of twelve months in prison and can issue a maximum fine of £10,000.
Finding the Courts
Both courts are situated in central Dundee at the top of Courthouse Square. Due to their central location, both are easily reached by numerous forms of transport.
Arriving by Car
There is no public car park at the court. If you decide to drive yourself to the court, the nearest place to park is a short walk away on Bell Street.
Alternatively, there is metered on-street parking on West Bell Street as well as neighbouring Tay and Lindsay Street. Metered parking bays are often all occupied so it’s best not to rely on them being free.
Arriving by Taxi
Taking a taxi usually works out cheaper than paying for a day’s parking. There are numerous taxi companies in Dundee and even the most inexperienced driver will know where the court building is. Dundee’s main taxi ranks are at Nethergate, Meadowside, Allan Street, Hilltown and at the train station.
Arriving by Train
The nearest train station is around half a mile from the court. This works out at about a ten minute walk.
Arriving by Bus
There are many city buses that will get you near the court. Numbers 8, 17, 26 and 28/29 will stop on nearby Lochee Road. All out of town buses will go directly to Seagate bus station.
If you have been told to attend a court in Dundee, you will be told what day to attend, but you will not always be told what time. You are expected to arrive early and wait for your case to be called. If you wish us to help you on the day, we can find out when you are scheduled to appear and can arrange to meet with you beforehand.
You should NEVER arrive late. Give yourself extra time to arrive, in case you are held up in traffic or encounter some unexpected delay.
Arriving on time is especially important if you have been released on bail. For those on bail, a failure to appear at court is regarded as a criminal offence. This alone could lead to a year in prison, a large fine and a further aggravation of your original offence.
Finally, remember to dress smartly. First impressions matter – especially if you are appearing in front of a jury.
If you are due to appear in court, check out our representation in court services. Our expert criminal lawyers are available 24/7 to discuss your case via phone or email.