Proposed Changes to Sentence Reductions for Early Guilty Pleas

Moore Motoring Law, Driving Solicitors, Speeding, Drink Driving, Nottingham, UK

Presently the guidelines recommend a one third reduction when a guilty plea is entered at the first reasonable opportunity. Under the new guidelines proposed by the Sentencing Council a maximum one third reduction would be applied where the plea is entered at the first stage of the proceedings .The first stage is the first point at which the charge is put to the offender at court. After the first  stage the maximum reduction level would be one fifth. A sliding scale would apply.

In some cases CPS are only  serve brief summaries or are late serving evidence that may assist in determining whether the defendant should be advised to plea guilty or not guilty. The argument that the  defendant must know whether he has done it beggars the question how can a lay client be expected to know potential defences and whether there is sufficient evidence to prove a case. The number of of unrepresented defendants in criminal courts appears to be increasing and they are the people most likely to be affected by these proposals.

The council’s consultation closed on 5th May

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