Further to his recent article outlining the nature of Domestic Abuse and the purpose of the new sentencing guidelines, Nazaqat Maqsoom of Kangs Solicitors explains the various considerations that the court will take into account when determining sentence.
Aggravating & Mitigating Factors | Kangs Domestic Abuse Defence Team
The new guidelines list aggravating and mitigating factors that should be considered.
The Aggravating Factors
- Abuse of trust and abuse of power
- Victim is particularly vulnerable
- Steps taken to prevent the victim from reporting the incident or from obtaining assistance
- Victim has been forced to leave the home or steps have been taken to exclude the offender from the home to ensure the victims safety
- Impact on children
- A proven history of violence or threats by the offender in a domestic context
- Using contact arrangements with a child to instigate the offence
- A history of disobedience to court orders , domestic violence protection orders , non-molestation orders and restraining orders
The Mitigating Factors
- Positive good character
- Evidence of genuine recognition of the need to change, and evidence of obtaining help or treatment to effect that change.
The new guidelines state that provocation is not mitigation to an offence within a domestic context except in rare circumstances.
General Sentencing Considerations | Kangs Domestic Offence Solicitors
- The offender or the victim may ask the court to consider the interests of any children by imposing a less serve sentence. However the best interests of the child remain paramount.
- Offences involving serious violence, emotional or psychological harm warrant a custodial sentence.
- Where the custody threshold is passed, a custodial sentence is not inevitable and a court has other options available.
- The Court has a range of orders it may consider such as a Restraining Order, European Protection Order, Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Criminal Behaviour Order.
How We Can Help | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
In view of the severity of some of the sentences that may be passed, it is important that expert legal advice is sought from the outset of any allegations that arise from a violent or abusive domestic incident.
If you are under investigation or are arrested for any criminal offence, it is essential that you have the support and guidance of an experienced legal team from the outset.
Please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following who will be happy to discuss your case with you: