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Procedure Btwn Conviction And Sentence Notes

BPTC Law Notes > BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes

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A more recent version of these Procedure Btwn Conviction And Sentence notes – written by City Law School students – is available here.

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PROCEDURE BETWEEN CONVICTION & SENTENCE Indication of Sentence Before plea entered Judge retains discretion to refuse to give indication


Judge only gives indication on whole indictment (cannot "plea bargain")


Indication should be confined to maximum sentence if plea of guilty at this stage

Must be sought by Defendant - Defence counsel must have Defendant's written authority to request indication ("written basis of plea")


If no written basis of plea, judge should refuse to give indication

Advocate must ensure that Defendant fully appreciates that:


He should not plead guilty unless he is guilty, and


AG may refer an unduly lenient sentence to COA


Credit given for pleading guilty rather than being found guilty

Once indication given, binding on Judge (and any subsequent judge who becomes responsible for case)

* After reasonable opportunity to consider indication, if Defendant does not plead guilty, the indication ceases to have effect

* Fact that Defendant sought an indication is inadmissible in subsequent trial Adjournment Power to adjourn between conviction and sentence. Purpose of adjournment:


For Pre-Sentence Report, or


Defendant 1 pleaded guilty - adjourn until end of Defendant 2's trial, so sentence together.
* joint-offenders should be treated consistently in sentencing
* any differences must be justified by differing degree of involvement or differences in their records
* Advantage: Judge hears evidence at Defendant 2's trial before sentencing Defendant 1.

Keeping Sentencing Options Open Before adjournment - court should avoid saying anything which might create a legitimate expectation in Defendant's mind of certain type of sentence (or of not getting certain type of sentence)


ie. saying anything in the nature of an express/implied promise

If do say something - bound by it.

Length of Adjournment Magistrates Court: Max 3 weeks (Defendant in custody), 4 weeks (Defendant on bail) Crown Court: usually adopts same periods Bail s4 right applies


unless Defendant committed to Crown Court for sentence - discretion.

Same grounds for refusal + where adjournment is for purpose of preparing a report and this would be impracticable if Defendant at liberty Can grant bail with condition that Defendant be available for interviews etc so report can be compiled Pre-Sentence Report Independent reports - usually prepared by probation officers or (if Defendant under-18) a social worker or member of the youth offending team Usually in writing - If Defendant over-18, court may allow oral Pre-Sentence Report When Required Required if Court considering:


community sentence, or


custodial sentence


* Defendant is an adult and court decides Pre-Sentence Report is "unnecessary" (ie. long trial, judge knows necessary info), or

* Defendant is a juvenile and Court decides Pre-Sentence Report "unnecessary" and there is a previous Pre-Sentence Report available Preparation of the Pre-Sentence Report Contents:

* Info about offence,

* Factors in the commission of offence relevant to seriousness

* Defendant's attitude to the offence

* Background information about Defendant,

* Assessment of the likelihood of Defendant re-offending

* proposals for appropriate sentence,
* particularly if considers community sentence suitable

* May consider what form of community order would best assist with the rehab of Defendant Sources:

* Interview with Defendant

* Visits at Defendant's home, conversations with family members

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