Nazaqat Maqsoom of Kangs Solicitors follows his recent commentary on ‘the new guidelines’ with a look at reduction, mitigation and exceptions.
Mitigation and Reduction | Kangs Criminal Lawyers
The new guidelines state that factors such as:
- admissions at interview,
- co-operation with the investigation and
- demonstrations of remorse
Should not be taken into account when determining the level of reduction available upon sentencing but should be considered separately as potential mitigating factors.
Furthermore, the benefit of an early plea should apply regardless of the strength of the evidence which should not be taken in to account when determining the level of reduction.
This is a significantly different approach to that of the previous guidelines which stated that ‘Where the prosecution case is overwhelming, it may not be appropriate to give the full reduction that would otherwise be given.’
Applying The Reduction | Kangs Crime Solicitors
The court can achieve the reduction in sentence by imposing one option for another, such as, for example, replacing a custodial sentence with a community sentence, or, a community sentence with a fine.
However, where a court has imposed one type of sentence in place of a more severe one there should normally be no further reduction.
Following a guilty plea, a Magistrates’ Court may reduce a custodial sentence in order to retain jurisdiction of an ‘either way offence’ rather than committing the case for sentence to the Crown Court.
Exceptions | Kangs Criminal Law Solicitors
There are a number of exceptions to the guidelines:
- The main exception is that a defendant required further information, assistance or advice before indicating a plea.
- Where a sentencing court is satisfied that “particular circumstances” significantly reduced the defendant’s ability to understand what was alleged or, otherwise made it unreasonable to expect the defendant to indicate a guilty plea sooner than was done , a reduction of one third should still be made.
- However, the sentencing courts must ensure that defendants are in the above position and are not merely delaying the entering of a guilty plea in order to assess the strength of the prosecution evidence and the prospects of conviction or acquittal.
- There are other exceptions covering situations such as:
- Where the offender is convicted of a lesser or different offence.
- Where a Newton Hearing or Special Reasons Hearing takes place and the defendant’s version of events is rejected.
How We Can Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Team
Kangs Solicitors are regularly instructed to represent people charged with a vast spectrum of Serious Criminal Proceedings and are renowned for providing the best possible service.
We have a proven track record of assisting clients to achieve the possible outcome and ensure that their case is fully prepared and that they are properly represented.
Sample Of Previous Cases | National Criminal Team
- Possession with Intent to Supply Drugs |Successful Result | Kangs Criminal Solicitors
- Immediate Custody Avoided Following Mortgage Fraud | Kangs Fraud Team Negotiators
- Drugs Importation | Success at Worcester Crown Court
- Client Avoids Immediate Term of Imprisonment | Kangs Solicitors
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