SENTENCING

TYPES OF OFFENCES

SUMMARY - mild offences such as driving without insurance or petty theft. These offences are tried in the Magistrates Court, where they maximum sentencing powers are 6 months, or 12 months for 2 crimes, or an unlimited fine.

TRIABLE EITHER WAY - like summary offences but greater in severity. Usually sent to the Crown Court if the Magistrates feel they do not have sufficient sentencing powers for the given offence/s. If taken to the Crown Court, the judge is only limited by the maximum sentence for the given crimes.

INDICTABLE - serious crimes such as ****, murder etc. Heard in the Crown Court, where the judge is only limited by the maximum sentence for the given crimes.

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TYPES OF SENTENCING

CUSTODIAL - prison sentences for ages 21+. For anyone younger, usually harsh community sentences are given. MANDATORY LIFE SENTENCE, EXTENDED SENTENCE, SUSPENDED, SENTENCE, FIXED TERM SENTENCE, DISCRETIONARY SENTENCE, DISCRETIONARY LIFE SENTENCE, HOME DETENTION, INDETERMINATE SENTENCE.

COMMUNITY - methods of punishment without incapacitation, usually involve some form of rehabilitation or retribution. UNPAID WORK, PROHIBITION, CURFEW, EXCLUSION, RESIDENCE, TREATMENTS (MENTAL HEALTH, SUBSTANCE ABUSE), SUPERVISION.

FINES - monetary compensation for crimes and damages to the victim , and court fees.

DISCHARGE - conditional discharge, released with specific conditions to follow or else they are incarcerated. Absolute discharge, free to go.

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AIMS OF SENTENCING

  • Retribution- "eye for an eye"... Punish offender for the crime they have committed, with a sentence he deserves.

For example: Murder- life imprisonment (death penalty abolished 1965)

  • Protection of the Public- Incapacitate offender to safeguard society.

For example: Prison sentences for violent offenders- curfew and tags, ban from driving.

  • Deterrence Individual or General- Harsh punishment to deter D from offending (individual) to deter society from comitting the offence.

For example: Drink driving- ban for 12 months, Littering- £70 fine.

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AIMS OF SENTENCING PT.2

  • Denunciation- Society showing disapproval, enforcing moral boundaries.

For example: Harsh penalities e.g Riots in Birmingham- prison sentences for first time offenders, Football Hooliganism.

  • Rehabilitation- Reforming D's behaviour to stop re-offending (often youths).

For example: Community orders e.g drink and drug programs etc.

  • Reparation- Repayments to either the victim or society or both.

For example: Community order, compensation to victim.

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FACTORS AFFECTING SENTENCING

Aggravating factors are factors which will worsen the punishment. Mitigating factors make it more lenient.

AGGRAVATING e.g previous convictions, comitting the offence while on bail, discriminatory motivation, vulnerable victim, weapons, not guilty plea, mens rea.

MITIGATING e.g earlier guilty plea, mental problems, provocation, remorse/attitude, clean record

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GUILTY PLEA

A guilty plea saves the court time and money. Therefore if a defendant pleads guilty, they are more likely to get a reduced sentence. These recommendations were set out by the Sentencing Guidelines Council (SGC) in a 2007 revision of plea reductions.

If a D pleads guilty at their earliest opportunity, their sentence would be reduced by up to a third, depending on other factors.

Once the trial date has been set, the recommended sentence reduction becomes a quarter.

Once the trial date has arrived, a guilty plea has a chance of receiving a 10% reduction.

A reduction for a guilty plea can usually only be withheld for 4 reasons: if the defendant poses a danger to the public, if the evidence posed by the prosecution is extremely strong, if the maximum penalty for the offence is seen to be inadequate, or when jurisdictional issues are present.

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