A District Judge is a type of Magistrate who is legally qualified and paid.
- They usually sit alone and are addressed as Sir or Madam.
- They decide ‘mode of trial’, take plea, consider evidence and give a verdict making the decision whether to remand, bail or place the individual in custody.
- If the accused is found guilty the District Judge passes sentence or may refer the case to Crown Court (see allocation of either way offences in a Magistrates Court).
- They perform the same role as Justice’s of the Peace.
Prior to August 2000, District Judges were known as Stipendiary Magistrates.