Occasions arise where a defendant may wish to consider pleading guilty, whether before or during a trial, but he requires an indication as to the sentence which he is likely to receive before making his decision.
In such circumstances, in Crown Court proceedings a defendant can seek such an indication of sentence known as a ‘Goodyear Indication’(‘an Indication’).
John Veale of Kangs Solicitors explains the nature of this procedure.
The Procedure | Kangs Crown Court Defence Solicitors
A defendant is entitled to ask the Judge for an Indication of the maximum sentence that would follow a guilty plea at that particular stage in the proceedings.
A Judge does not have to give an Indication.
The Judge will follow the guidance set out by the Court of Appeal in the case of R-v-Goodyear  EWCA Crim 888 which is designed to ensure that no improper pressure, whether intentional or not, is put on the defendant to plead guilty.
The Court of Appeal said:
“In our judgment, any advance indication of sentence to be given by the judge should normally be confined to the maximum sentence if a plea of guilty were tendered at the stage at which the indication is sought.”
A Judge may refuse to give an Indication in any circumstances and should consider:
- if there is likely to be any other pressure on the defendant,
- whether he is in a position to properly assess the culpability of the defendant,
- whether or not the Basis of the Guilty Plea is acceptable.
- whether to defer giving an Indication until he is sufficiently familiar with the case or in order to obtain a Pre-Sentence Report.
Should the Judge refuse an Indication at that stage, the defendant is entitled to present a further request later in the proceedings.
The Effect of An Indication | Kangs Crown Court Trial Solicitors
The Indication will give the maximum sentence the defendant faces following a guilty plea whether it is non-custodial or custodial and, in the latter event, the maximum period that would be imposed.
An Indication is binding but, usually, only for the day on which it is given or such period as stated by the Judge.
If the defendant decides not to accept the Indication and proceeds with the trial, the jury will not be informed that an Indication was sought.
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
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If we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following: