It has been debated for a number of years that the sentencing powers of Magistrates should be substantially increased.

As one of the consequences of the Covid 19 Pandemic, which has created an enormous ‘backlog’ of cases in the Crown Courts, The Judicial Review and Courts Act 2022 has doubled Magistrates’ sentencing powers from six months imprisonment for a single offence to a maximum of twelve months imprisonment.

The Ministry of Justice estimates the change could free up to two thousand extra days for Crown Courts every year which are urgently needed given that there are in excess of sixty thousand cases waiting to be heard.   

Sukhdip Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors comments upon this increased sentencing power.

Kangs Solicitors is rated as one of the best criminal law firms in the country, being highly ranked in both the leading legal directories, Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.

The firm has won the Legal 500 Award for Criminal and Fraud Law Firm of the Year and the firm’s founding solicitor, Hamraj Kang, won the award for Individual Criminal and Fraud Solicitor of the Year

Should you require any initial advice, our team can be contacted as follows:

Potential Consequences of the Sentencing Change | Kangs Solicitors

  • Previously, following conviction in a Trial in a Magistrates’ Court, Magistrates could only impose a maximum period of imprisonment of six months.
  • Accordingly, if they believed the sentence should be greater it would be necessary for the case to be committed to the Crown Court for sentence.
  • In future, the Magistrates will be able to sentence those cases where they feel a period of up to twelve months imprisonment is adequate for the crime leading to the conviction.
  • Given that statistics show conviction rates are higher in Magistrates’ Courts than Crown Courts,  defendants may still elect trial at the Crown Court seeking potential for a higher likelihood of acquittal. 
  • With Magistrates dealing with more cases, more Appeals to the Crown Court are to be anticipated which may exacerbate the work load at Crown Court.
  • In support of these changes, the Government is seeking to recruit four thousand new Magistrates.             

Government Comment | Kangs Criminal Offences Defence Team

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said:

‘We are doing everything in our power to bring down the court backlog, and doubling the sentencing powers of magistrates will create more capacity in the crown court to hear the most serious cases.’

 ‘… we will deliver swifter and more effective justice as we build back a stronger, safer and fairer society after the pandemic…’

How Can We Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors

If you are facing criminal charges of any nature it is essential that you seek expert guidance immediately.

The Team at Kangs Solicitors has a proven track record of successfully assisting clients accused or charged with serious criminal matters of every nature

Arrangements can be made to meet at any of our offices in Birmingham, London and Manchester.

Please feel free to contact our team/any of the following who will be happy to speak to you and guide you:

Sukhdip Randhawa
srandhawa@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 

Helen Holder
hholder@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 0161 817 5020   

Amandeep Murria
amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0161 817 5020 | 020 7936 6396