This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Criminology following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at: http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/48/4/482This paper presents a quantitative analysis of data collected from the mode of trial hearing in two English magistrates' courts. A model of the mode of trial procedure is offered that explores the factors that influence the mode of trial decision taken by magistrates. While legal factors such as seriousness of the offence play a part in the process, the mode of trial decision is also shaped by factors such as courtroom culture, the provision of bail and ethnicity. While this study is, in many respects, exploratory, it does point towards the importance of these extra legal factors in the mode of trial decision and indicate future areas for research.Peer-reviewedPost-prin
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