Nazaqat Maqsoom of Kangs Solicitors outlines the new guidelines (‘the new guidelines’) intended to encourage those who are considering pleading guilty to do so at the earliest available opportunity, now defined as ‘the First Stage’.
Start Date For The New Guidelines | Kangs Solicitors
The new guidelines will apply to any matter in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts, affecting those aged over eighteen, in which the first hearing takes place on or after the 1st June 2017 regardless of the date of commission of the offence.
The First Stage | Kangs Criminal Case Management Team
Previously, a plea would be entered at the ‘First Reasonable Opportunity’ with the expectation that this would attract the maximum available reduction in sentence.
In effect, the First Stage now defines the First Reasonable Opportunity as the first hearing in the court process at which a plea or indication of plea is sought and recorded by the court.
In more serious cases, which are passed to the Crown Court for sentence, the First Stage will be the first appearance at the Magistrates’ Court.
Where a Guilty plea is indicated at the First Stage a reduction of the appropriate sentence by one-third should be made.
Pleas Indicated After The First Stage | Kangs Criminal Defence Lawyers
Pleas entered after the First Stage attract reductions in sentence on a sliding scale leading to a reduction of one-tenth on the first day of trial.
The reduction can be decreased further when, for example, a guilty plea is entered during the course of the trial.
How We Can Help | Kangs Criminal Advisory Team
Clearly, pleas should be entered at the earliest possible time according to all of the surrounding circumstances requiring detailed and expert consideration, in order to secure the maximum reduction available.
Kangs Solicitors enjoys a National reputation for providing a personal service of unrivalled quality and can provide you with early and robust advice in relation to your case and ensure that your position is protected throughout your case.
Who Can I Contact? | Kangs Criminal Solicitors
Please feel free to contact our team through any of the following who will be happy to speak to you and guide you: