It occasionally appears confusing that individuals convicted, frequently in different courts, of a similar offence, seemingly, receive substantially different sentences.
Nazaqat Maqsoom of Kangs Solicitors provides an insight into why sentences for similar convictions may vary.
Sentencing Considerations | Kangs Criminal Law Procedure Advisory Solicitors
When passing sentence, Judges are obliged to consider a number of factors amongst which are those which may either be regarded as aggravating the commission of the offence or those which mitigate the liability of the defendant.
Whilst two cases may, prima facie, appear very similar, examination of the facts surrounding each case may, in reality show that they are entirely different.
Although the facts of two cases may appear similar, a convicted person with a record of offending is likely to receive a tougher sentence than someone who was, prior to commission of the offence in question, of good character.
A defendant who pleads guilty to an offence is likely to receive a lesser sentence than a person who pleads not guilty but is found guilty by a jury following trial.
The extent of a sentence may also be affected by the role of the defendant in the commission of the criminal activity, age and other personal mitigation.
Sentencing Safeguards | Criminal Sentencing Appeal Solicitors
Any sentence that appears manifestly excessive or wrong in principle, can be appealed by the defendant.
The Attorney General can refer any sentence regarded as unduly lenient to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal will not entertain an appeal simply because a sentence passed to another defendant in a different court in respect of a similar matter was lower.
Where defendants are sentenced in the same case, any disparity in sentencing is a fundamental consideration. Cases involving multiple defendants are slightly more complex and issues that arise with regards to disparity in sentencing require proper assessment.
Sentencing guidelines are in place to ensure that Judges exercise their discretion carefully and properly.
How We Can Assist | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
In respect of all alleged criminal allegations at every level it is essential that experienced legal help and guidance is sought from the outset to ensure that your position is protected as far as is possible in the circumstance that each allegation presents.
If we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following: