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Posts Tagged ‘sentencing’

Sentencing For Possession of Knife Offences

possession of knife offences

Sentencing Trends For Possession of Knife Offences.
Photo credit: Didriks


Sentencing Trends Show Importance of Investing In Specialist Representation


Between January and March 2015, while the number of people charged with possession of knife offences was fairly stable compared to previous periods (showing a gradual increase), sentencing trends are alarming.


Just 10% of adult offenders received cautions, which is the lowest level since 2007, while suspended sentences continue to be imposed at an increasing rate.  Offenders are 22% more likely to receive a suspended custodial sentence than they were just a year ago.


Juvenile offenders are more likely to receive immediate custodial sentences than they have been in previous months.


The criminal justice system continues to deal with a high number of possession of knife offences, with a total of 4,117 offences recorded in this period.  This number is steadily increasing.


The most common sentence imposed for possession of knife offences is an immediate custodial sentence.


These are serious cases and it is vital that your case is thoroughly reviewed to discover whether you may have a defence to the case.  Failing that, a strong mitigation case prepared by specialist solicitors will increase your chances of obtaining a lenient sentence.



What is an Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement?

What is an Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement?


The Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) is a power given to the courts in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 that allows them to order offenders to abstain from alcohol for a period of up to 120 days and to be regularly tested for compliance.


This is a tool designed to address issues of alcohol misuse, not alcohol dependency, which the courts have long been able to address via an Alcohol Treatment Requirement.


This move follows estimations that around 44% of all violent offences are committed by offenders under the influence of alcohol.


The approach is based on a model from South Dakota, USA but operated following UK legislation, and will operate on a pilot scheme initially from 31 July 2014.


The pilot aims to:


  • Test how widely an Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement will be used within the Magistrates Court system;
  • Test compliance rates with the Requirement; and
  • Test the effectiveness of transdermal tags (ankle tags) in monitoring alcohol abstinence
  • Target between 100-150 offenders during its course


Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirements will be piloted in Croydon, Lambeth, Southwark and Sutton.


An AAMR will be available for the courts to impose as part of a Community Order or Suspended Sentence if all of the following criteria are met:


  • Consumption of alcohol must be an element of the offence or an associated offence, or a factor that contributed towards the offence being committed
  • The offender must not be dependent on alcohol
  • Probation staff must carry out pre-court screening, which will include alcohol screening
  • The court must not include an Alcohol Treatment Requirement, as these are for dependent drinkers only
  • There must be alcohol abstinence monitoring arrangements available in that area
  • The offence must have taken place in Southwark, Lambeth, Sutton or Croydon
  • The offender must reside in Southwark, Lambeth, Sutton or Croydon
  • The offender must have a fixed abode


If the offender fails to submit to monitoring, this will be a breach of the requirement and will be treated as a standard breach of the Community Order or Suspended Sentence.


An Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement can be imposed for offences including drink driving, common assault, actual bodily harm, assault PC, criminal damage and theft.


If you are at risk of an Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring Requirement and do not believe that this is a suitable penalty for you, call us now to discuss your case on 01623 397200.




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