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Sentencing Notes

BPTC Law Notes > BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes

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A more recent version of these Sentencing notes – written by City Law School students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our BPTC Criminal Litigation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Sentencing What are the main objectives of sentencing?

What are the general factors that affect the seriousness of the offence?

What are the common mitigating factors?

WhenSentencing adults: Punish offenders Reduce crime by deterrence Reform and rehabilitate offenders Protect the public Provide reparation to victims

When sentencing youths:
- The principal aim is to prevent reoffending
- The welfare of youth-D The offender's culpability is a key factor when sentencing, and this is affected by a number of factors: (1) Committing offence while on bail; (2) Failure to respond to previous sentences; (3) Offence was racially or religiously aggravated; (4) Offence motivated by sexual orientation of the victim; (5) Previous convictions, particularly a pattern of re-offending; (6) Planning the offence; (7) An intention to commit more serious harm than actually resulted; (8) Offenders operating in groups or gangs; (9) 'Professional' offending; (10) Commission of the offence for financial gain; (11) High level of profit from the offence; (12) An attempt to conceal or dispose of evidence; (13) Offence committed while on licence; (14) Deliberately targeting vulnerable victims; (15) Use of a weapon to frighten or injure victim; (16) Deliberate and gratuitous violence or damage to property, over and above that required for the commission of the crime; (17) Abuse of power; and (18) Abuse of trust.Greater degree of provocation than normal D suffers from mental illness or disability D's young age Minor role of D No planning Prompt surrenderWhat level of discount with a defendant get if they plead guilty?

Offence caused little damage Property restored to owner No injury or less significant injury in the context of the offence. Max. 1/3 off sentence if pleaded at first reasonable opportunity. Max. 1/4 off sentence if pleaded after trial date is set. Max. 1/10 off sentence if pleaded at 'door of court' or after trial has begun.

1 [Adult] Magistrates' Court Noncustodial Sentencing What are the options for a magistrate when sentencing?

Absolute discharge - Mags' deem it inappropriate to impose punishment Conditional discharge - Defendant ('D') is discharged on condition that he doesn't commit any further offences within a specific period (up to 3yrs). Any breach of the conditional discharge MAY result in D be re-sentenced for the offence. Fine - The maximum fine per offence is PS5,000, and this is for an either-way offence. Community sentences - This is a 'pick and mix' menu for the court, with option including (UP SPACE DRAMA) (a) Unpaid work requirement - between 40-300hrs, usually over the period of 12months; (b) Programme requirement; (c) Supervision requirement - must attend appointments with an assigned probation officer; (d) Prohibited activity requirement; (e) Activity requirement - the aggregate number of days must not exceed 60; (f) Curfew requirement* - requires D staying in a specific place for a specific amount of time; can only be 6months long; (g) Exclusion requirement* - cannot be more than 2yrs; (h) (i) (j) (k)

Drug rehabilitation requirement; Residence requirement; Alcohol treatment requirement; Mental health treatment requirement;
[where D is under 25] an attendance centre requirement

Curfew: *This will often be attached to an electronic monitoring requirement. Before ordering 2 or more requirements the court must assess whether they are compatible with each other. The court must also consider any conflict with D's religious beliefs or any interference with work or education. The threshold for a community order whether the offence 'is serious enough to justify a community order'. In addition, a community order can only be made if the offence is punishable by imprisonment . Persistent offender: where D has been fined 3 or more times on previous occasions a community order may be given even if offence doesn't cross the threshold. The maximum duration for a community order is 3yrs.


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