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Criminal Law

To avoid disappointment please note that we do not undertake any Legal Aid work.

This means that we can devote the time and attention needed to defend our clients.

Our rates are competitive and transparant.  We always agree our costs with our clients in writing in advance.

WALLIS SOLICITORS LIMITED have extensive experience in defending people accused of crime. In order to devote the time and attention necessary to properly defend our clients we do not undertake an Legal Aid work. Our rates are competitive and we will always keep you fully informed of costs. 

The criminal law is changing all the time. On this page we intend to provide an overview of some of the legal issues that our client's experience. Please note that this page should not be relied upon for legal advice on any particular matter. If you have any specific legal matter please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

Some of the more regular offences that WALLIS SOLICITORS LIMITED encounter in the Magistrates' Court and the Police Station are Common Assault, Criminal Damage, Theft, Benefit Fraud, Possession of Drugs, and Driving Offences.

Recent cases that WALLIS SOLICITORS LIMITED have defended in the Crown Court include Rape, Grevious Bodily Harm, Theft, Benefit Fraud, and Robbery.

AGGRAVATED VEHICLE TAKING

The penalty for Aggravated Vehicle Taking (s.12 Theft Act) is a maximum £5,000 and / or six months imprisonment.  The allegation is triable either-way although in some instances is summary only.  The Magistrates' Court Sentencing Guidelines for a first-time offender pleading Not Guilty is a custodial sentence.  The court must also endorse an offender's licencen and disqualify them for  at least 12 months duration.

ASSAULT AND BATTERY

s.39, Criminal Justice Act 1988

An assault occurs when the defendant intentionally or recklessly cause another to apprehend immediate unlawful violence. A battery is committed when a person intentionally or recklessly applies unlawful force to the complainant. Common assault and battery are triable summarily. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 created an aggravated form of this offence, committed when an attack is motivated by racial or religious hostility, which is triable either way. The maximum sentence for either offence is a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both.

ASSAULT OCCASIONING ACTUAL BODILY HARM; COMMON ASSAULT

s.39, Criminal Justice Act 1988

Whosoever shall be convicted upon an indictment of any assault occassioning actual bodily harm shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than five years. The offence is triable either way. To constitute ABH, there must be an assault or battery which causes some bodily harm. The harm caused may be a direct or indirect consequence of the assault or battery. The harm caused must be something which the defendant could reasonably have foreseen as the consequense of what he was saying or dong towards the complainant. When tried summarily the maximum penalty for the offence is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale or both.

WOUNDING OR INFLICTING GREVIOUS BODILY HARM

s.20, Offences against the Persons Act 1861

Whosoever shall unlawfully and maliciously wound or inflict any grevious bodily harm upon any other person, either with or without any weapon or instrument, shall be guilty of an offence, and being convicted thereof shall be liable to imprisonmnet for not more than five years. The offence is triable eitherway. For harm to amount to a "wound" the continuity of the skin must be broken. When tried summarily the maximum penalty for both offences is six months', imprisonment, a fine not exceeding level 6 on the standard scale or both.

RACIALLY OR RELIGIOUSLY AGGRAVATED OFFENCES

s.29 Crime and Disorder Act, 1998

A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he commits:- (a) an offence under section 20 of the Offences Against The Persons Act 1861 (mailcious wounding or grevious bodily harm); (b) an offence under section 47 of that Act (actual bodily harm); or (3) common assault, which is racially or religiousely aggravated for the purpose of this section. Offences contrary to section 29 are triable either way.

ASSAULT WITH INTENT TO RESIST OR PREVENT ARREST

s.38, Offences against the Persons Act 1861

Whosoever shall assault any person with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer of himself or of any other person for any offence, shall be guilty of misdemeanour, and beign convicted thereof shall be liable, at the discretion of the court, to be imprisoned for any terms not exceeding two years.  The offence is triable either way. When tried summarily the maximum penalty for this offence is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment.

ABANDONMENT OF CHILDREN UNDER TWO

s.27, Offences Against the Person Act 1861

Whosoever shall unlawfully abandon or expose any child, being under the age of two years, whereby the life of such child shall be endangered, or health of such child shall have been or shall likely to be permanently injured, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shalll be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. This offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

CHILD CRUELTY

s.1, Children and Young Persons Act 1933

If a person who has attained the age of sixteen years and has responsibility for any child or young person under that age, wilfully assaults, ill-treated, neglects, abandons or exposes him or causes or procures him to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned or exposed in a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health (including injury to or loss of sight, or hearing, or limb, or organ of the body, and any any mental derangement), that person shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall be liable; on conviction on indictment, to a fine or alternatively, or in addition thereto, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding ten years; on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £400 or alternatively or in addition thereto, to imprisnoment for any term not exceeding six months. The offence is triable either way.

SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH A GIRL UNDER SIXTEEN

s.6, Sexual Offences Act 1956

It is an offence, subjected to the exceptions mentioned in this section, for a man to have unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of sixteen. The offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty for this offence is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

INDECENCY WITH CHILDREN

s.1, Indecency with Chldren Act 1960

Any person who commits an act of gross indecency with or towards a child under the age of sixteen or who incites a child under that age to such an act with him or another, shall be liable on conviction on indicitment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, to a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum, or to both. The offence is triable either way.

ASSAULT BY PENETRATION

s.2, Sexual Offence Act 2003

A person commits an offence if he intentionally penetrates the vagina or anus of another person with a part of his body or anything else; the penetration is sexual; causes penetration without the consent of other person. This offence is triable only on indictment. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

SEXUAL ASSAULT

s.3, Sexual Offences Act 2003

A person commits an offence of sexual assault it he intentionally touches another person; the touching is sexual; touching is without the consent of other person; and doesnot reasonably belives that other person consents. This offence is triable either way. Upon summary conviction the maximum sentence is six months' imprisonment. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court is 12 months' imprisonment.   

CAUSING A PERSON TO ENGAGE IN SEXUAL ACTIVITY WITHOUT CONSENT

s.4, Sexual Offences Act 2003

A person commits an offence if he intentionally causes another person to engage in an activity; the activity is sexual; other person does not consent to engaging in this acitivity; the person does not reasonably belives that the other person consents. The offence is triable either way. The maximum sentence is one of six months' imprisonment if tried summarily and/or a fine. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment.

CHILD SEX OFFENCES UNDER THE SEXUAL OFFENCES ACT 2003

Child sex offences are those in which the complainant is under the age of 16. There are now statutory provisions with respect to the relevance of the complainant's age. The prosecution is required to prove that the child is under 16 or over, it will be for the prosecution to prove that he did not believe this or that his belief was not reasonably held. This provision as to mistaken belief in age does not apply where the child is under 13. The maximum sentence where an offender aged 18 or over is convicted summarily of a child sex offence is six months' imprisonment or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

SEXUAL ACTIVITY WITH A CHILD

s.9, Sexual Offences Act 2003

A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if:- (a) he intentionally touches another person (B), (b) the touching is sexual, and (c) either:-(i) B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, or (ii) B is under 13. The offence is triable either way except in the following circumstances where it must be tried on indictment: Where the defendant is over 18 years of age and one or more of the following occured: (a) penetration of B's anus or vagina; (b) penetration of B's mouth with a person's penis; (c) penetration of a person's anus or vagina with a part of B's body or by B with anything else; (d) penetration of a person's mouth with B's penis. The maximum sentence is 6 months' imprisonment and / or a fine when tried summarily. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment :Criminal Justice Act 2003, ss.154 and 282.

CAUSING OR INCITING A CHILD TO ENGAGE IN SEXUAL ACTIVITY

s.10 Sexual Offences Act 2003

A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if: (a) intentionally causes or incites another person (B) to engage in an activity, (b) the acitivity is sexual, and (c) either (i) B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, or (ii) B is under 13. The offence is triable either way except in the following circumstances where it must be tried on indictment: Where the defendant is over 18 years of age and one or more of the following occured) penetration of B's anus or vagina; (b) penetration of B's mouth with a person's penis; (c) penetration of a person's anus or vagina with a part of B's body or by B with anything else; (d) penetration of a person's mouth with B's penis. The maximum sentence is 6 months' imprisonment and / or a fine when tried summarily. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment :Criminal Justice Act 2003, ss.154 and 282.

EXPOSURE

s.66(1) Sexual Offences Act 2003

A person commits an offence if- (a) he intentionally exposes his genitals, and (b) he intends that someone will see them and be caused alarm or distress. The offence is triable eitherway. Upon summary conviction the maximum sentence is 6 months' imprisonment and/or a fine. After the commencement of the relevant provision, the maximum custodial sentnece in a magistrates' court will be 12 month' imprisonment: Criminal Justice Act 2003, ss. 154 and 282.

THEFT

s.1, Theft Act 1968

A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it; and "theft" and "steal" shall be constructed accordingly. Theft is triable either way. When tried summarily the maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both. (TA 1968, s.1(7)). After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment.

BURGLARY

s.9, Theft Act 1968

A person is guilty of burglary if, he enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with intent to commit any such offence of stealing anything in a building or part of a building in question; having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building or that the part of it or inflicts or attempts to inflict on any person therein any grievous bodily harm, and of doing unlawful damge to the building or to anything therein. A person guilty of burglary shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years, where the offence was committed in respect of a building or part of a building which is a dwelling; in any other case, 10 years. Burglary is triable either way. If the burgalry in a dwelling house and any person in the dwelling was subjected to violence or the threat of violence, the offence is triable only on indictment. As regard to burglary of a non-dwelling, when tried summarily, the maximum penalty is 6 months' imprisonment or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both. 

TAKING A CONVEYANCE WITHOUT AUTHORITY

s.12(1)-(4C)

A person shall be guilty of offence if, without having the consent of the owner or other lawful authority, he takes any conveyance for his own or another's use or, knowing that any conveyance has been taken without such authority, drives it or allows himself to be carried in or on it. The offence is triable summarily. However, an offence under s.12 may be included in an indictment for another offence in the circumstances. The maximum penalty for taking a conveyance without authority is 6 months' imprisonment and / or a fine not exceeding level 5 of the standard scale. 

HANDLING STOLEN GOODS

s.22, Theft Act 1968

A person handles stolen good if knowing or believing them to be stolen goods he dishonestly receives the goods, or dishonestly undertakes or assist in their retention, removal, disposal or realisation by or for the benefit of another person, or if he arranges to do so. A person guilty of handling stolen goods shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years. This offence is triable either way. When treid summarily the maximum penalty for this offence is 6 months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment.

GOING EQUIPPED

s.25(1), (3)-(5), Theft Act 1978

A person shall be guilty of an offence if, when not at his place of abode, he has with him any article for use in the course of or in connection with burglary, theft or cheat. Where a person is charged with an offence under this section, proof that he had with him any article made or adapted for use in committing a burglary, theft or cheat shall be evidence that he had it with him for such use. This offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty for this offence is 6 months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment.

MAKING OFF WITHOUT PAYMENT

s.3, Theft Act 1978

A person who, knowing that payment on the spot for any goods supplied or service done is required or expected from him, dishonestly makes off without having paid as required or expected from him, dishonestly makes off without having paid as required or expected and with intent to avoid payment of the amount due shall be guilty of an offence. This offence is triable either way. On summary conviction, the maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for term not exceeding 12 months or fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

OFFENCES UNDER THE FRAUD ACT 2006

s.1 Fraud Act 2006

A person is guilty of fraud if he is in breach of any of the sections listed in subsection (2) (which provide for different ways of committing the offence). (2) The sections are- (a) section 2 (fraud by false representation), (b) section 3 (fraud by failing to disclose information), and (c) section 4 (fraud by abuse of position). (3) A person who is guilty of fraud is liable- (a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or to both); (b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to a fine (or to both).  This offence can be committed in any one of three different ways.

FRAUD BY FALSE REPRESENTATION

s.2, Fraud Act 2006

(1) A person is in breach of this section if he - (a) dishonestly makes a false representation, and (b) intends, by making the representation-(i) to make a gain for himself or another, or (ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss. (2) A representation is false if- (a) it is untrue or misleading; and (b) the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading. (3) "Representation" means by representation as to fact or law, including a represenation as to the state of mind of- (a) the person making the representation, or (b) any other person. (4)  A representation may be express or implied. (5) For the purposes of this section a representation may be regarded as made if it ( or anything implying it) it submitted in may form to any system or device designed to receive, convey or respond to communications (with or without human intervention). The offence is triable either way. On summary conviction, the maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or both).

FRAUD BY FAILING TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION

s.3, Fraud Act 2006

A person is in breach of this section if he (a) dishonestly fails to disclose to another person information which he is under a legal duty to disclose and (b) intends, by failing to disclose the information - (i) to make a gain for himself or another, or (ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to risk of loss. The offence is triable either way. On summary conviction, the maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

FRAUD BY ABUSE OF POSITION

s.4, Fraud Act 2006

A person is in breach of this section if he (a) occupies a position in which he is expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of another person, (b) dishonestly abuses that position, and (c) intends, by means of the abuse of that position - (i) to make a gain for himself or another, or (ii) to cause loss to another or to expose another to risk of loss. The offence is triable either way. On summary conviction, the maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

FORGERY

s.1, Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981

A person is guilty of forgery if he makes a false instrument, with the intention that he or another shall use it to induce somebody to accept it as genuine, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to his own or any person's prejudice. This offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty of this offence is six months' imprisonment or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

COPYING A FALSE INSTRUMENT

s.2, Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981

It is an offence for a person to make a copy of an instrument which is, and which he knows or believes to be, a false instrument, with the intention that he or another shall use it to induce somebody to accept it as a copy of genuine instrument, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to his own or any other person's prejudice. The offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

USING A FALSE INSTRUMENT, USING COPY OF THE FALSE INSTRUMENT

ss.3-4, Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981

The offence of using false instrument:- It is an offence for a person to use an instrument which is, and which he knows or believes to be, false, with the intention of inducing somebody to accept it as genuine, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to his own or any other person's prejudice.

The offence of using a copy of a false instrument:- It is an offence for a person to use a copy of an instrument which is, and which he knows or believes to be, a false instrument, with the intention of inducing somebody to accept it as a copy of a genuine instrument, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act of his own or any other person's prejudice. 

The offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magstrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment.

COUNTERFEITING NOTES OR COINS

s.14, Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981

(i) It is an offence for a person to make a counterfeit of a currency note or of a protected coin, intending that he or another shall pass or tender it as genuine. (ii) It is an offence for a person to make a counterfeit of a currency note or a protected coin without lawful authority or excuse. These offences are triable either way. When tried summarily, offences under both sections 14(i) & (ii) are punishable by maximum sentence of six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or the both.

CRIMINAL DAMAGE

s.1, Criminal Damage Act 1961

(1) A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence. (2) A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property, whether belonging to himself or another- (a) intending to destroy or damage any property or being reckless as to whether any property would be destroyed or damged; and (b) intending by the destruction or damage to endanger the life of another or being reckless as to whether the life of another would be thereby endangered; shall be guilty of an offence. (3) An offence committed under this section by destroying or damaging property by fire shall be charged as arson. Where the value of damage done is under £5,000 and the offence is not one or arson, or one endangering life, the offence is triable summarily only. Otherwise it is triable summmarily or on indictment. There are no sentencing guideline for this offence. Otherwise, the maximum sentence for criminal damage is six months' imprisonment. When the offence is summary only because the value of the damage is below £5,000, the maximum sentence is three months' imprisonment or a fine up to level 4: Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, s.33. After commencement of the releveant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment.

THREATS TO DESTROY OR DAMAGE PROPERTY

s.2, Criminal Damage Act 1971

A person who without lawful excuse makes to another a threat, intending that other would fear it would be carried out- (a) to destroy or damage any property belonging to that other or a third person; or (b) to destroy or damage his own property in a way which he knows it likely to endanger the life of that other or third person; shall be guilty of an offence. There are no sentencing guidelines for this offence. When tried summarily, the maximum sentence for criminal damage is six months' imprisonment. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment.

POSSESSING ANYTHING WITH INTENT TO DESTROY OR DAMAGE PROPERTY

s.3, Criminal Damage Act

A person who has anything in his custody or under his control intending without lawful excuse to use it or cause or permit another to use it - (a) to destroy or damage any property belonging to some other person; or (b) to destroy or damage his own or the user's property in a way which he knows is likely endanger the life of some other person; shall be guilty of an offence. There are no sentencing for this offence. When tried summarily, the maximum sentence for criminal damage is six months' imprisonment. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment.

RACIALLY OR RELIGIOUSLY AGGRAVATED CRIMINAL DAMAGE

 s.30, Crime and Disorder Act 1998

A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he commits an offence under section 1(1) of the Criminal Damge Act 1971  (destroying or damaging property belonging to another) which is (racially or religiously aggravated) for the purpose of this section. (2) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable- (a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or to both; (b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years or to a fine, or to both. (3) For the purposes of this section, section 28(1) (a) above shall have effect as if the person to whom the property belongs or is treated as belonging for the purposes of that Act were the victim of the offence.

OFFENCES UNDER THE PUBLIC ORDER ACT 1986

VIOLENT DISORDER

s.2, Public Order Act 1986

Where three of more persons who are present together use or threaten unlawful violence and the conduct of the them (taken together) is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety, each of the persons using or threatening unlawful violence is guilty of violent disorder. Violent disorder may be committed in private as well as in public places. The offence is triable either way. A person guilty of violent disorder is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or a fine or both, or on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

AFFRAY

s.3 Public Order Act 1986

Affray is an offence under section 3 of the Public Order Act 1986. It is described as an 'either way offence'. This means that it can be tried and/or sentenced at either the Magistrates' Court or at the Crown Court. The Magistrates' Courts Sentencing Guidelines for Affray suggest that the starting point for a first-time offender pleading Not Guilty should be a custodial sentence.  

FEAR OR PROVOCATION OF VIOLENCE

s.4, Public Order Act 1986

A person is guilty of an offence if he (a) uses towards another person threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviours, or (b) distributes or displays to another person any writing, sign or ostensible representation which is threatening, abusive and insulting, (c) with intent to cause that person to believe  that immediate unlawful violence will be used against him or another by any person, or to provoke the immediate use of unlawful violence by that person or another, (d) or whereby that person is likely to believe that such violence will be used or it is likely that such violence will be provoked. An offence under this section may be committed in a public or private place. A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both.

HARASSMENT, ALARM OR DISTRESS

s.5(1), (2) Public Order Act 1986

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he-(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or (b) display any writing, sign or ostensible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harrasment, alarm or distress thereby. (2) An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or ostensible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the other person is also inside that or another dwelling. Both basic and the aggravated forms of this offence are triable summarily only. The maximum penalty for both these offences is a fine not exceeding level three on the standard scale.

PUBLISHING OR DISTRIBUTING WRITTEN MATERIAL STIRRING UP RACIAL HATRED

s.19, Public Order Act 1986

A person who publishes or distributes written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting is guilty of an offence if- (a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or (b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby. The offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both. On commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment:Criminal Justice Act 2003, ss 154 and 282. Custodial sentences of less that 12 months will consists of  a custody plus order.

POSSESSION OF OFFENSIVE WEAPONS

s.1, Prevention of Crime Act 1953

(1) Any person who without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, the proof whereof shall lie on him, has with him in any public place any offensive weapon shall be guilty of an offence, and shall be liable-(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum or both; (b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine, or both. (2)Where any person is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) of this section the court may make an order for the forfeiture or disposal of any weapon in respect of which the offence was committed. This offence is triable either way.

HAVING A BLADED ARTICLE IN A PUBLIC PLACE

s.139 Criminal Justice Act 1988

A person who has any article which has a blade or is sharply pointed except a folding pocketknife, if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 3 inches, applies with him in a public place shall be guilty of an offence. This offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for term not exceeding 6 months, a fine of the prescribed sum or both.

HAVING AN ARTICLE WITH A BLADE OR POINT (OR OFFENSIVE WEAPON) ON SCHOOL PREMISES

s.139 A, Criminal Justice Act 1988

Any person who has an article with a balde or point (or offensive weapon) on school premises shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable - (a) on summary conviction to imprisonment for term not exceeding six months, or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both; (b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years, or a fine, or both. This offence is triable either way.

TRESPASSING WITH WEAPONS OF OFFENCE

s.8(1) Criminal Law Act 1977

A person who is on any premises as a trespasser, after having entered as such, is guilty of an offence if, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, he has with him on the premises any weapon of offence.The offence is triable summarily. The maximum penalty for this is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or both. 

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY

s.91(1) Criminal Justice Act 1967

Any person who is in a public place is guilty, while drunk, of disorderly behaviour shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale. This offence is triable summarily. The maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding level 3 on standard scale. The Magistrates Court sentencing guidelines state: Aggravating factor include offensive language or behaviour, with group, on hospital/medical premises, offence committed on bail, relevant previous convictions and any failure to respond to previous sentences.

DANGEROUS DRIVING

s.2. Road Traffic Act 1988

A  person who drives a mechanically propolled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence. Dangerous driving is an either way offence and particular care needs to be taken. There are commonly agreed aggravating and mitigating factors. Closely following recent guidance from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in relation to the related offence of causing death by dangerous driving, the Magistrates' Court Sentencing guidelines (2004) (under review) state that aggravating factors include seeking to avoid detection or apprehension, engagement in competitive driving including racing or showing off, disregard of warnings, perhaps from passengers or others in vicinity, evidence of alcohol or drugs, excessive speed, prolonged, persistent bad driving, serious risk and using a hand held mobile telephone. Mitigating circumstances include driving in an emergency and speed that was not excessive.

CARELESS OR INCONSIDERATE DRIVING

ss.3, 3ZA, Road Traffic Act 1988

If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence. These offences are summary only. The maximum penalty is a fine of level 4 (£2,500). It is an endorsable offence within the range of 3-9 penalty points and so disqualification may be imposed. The maximum penalty is increased to a fine of level 5 ( £5,000) for offences committed on or after the commencement of section 23 of the Road Safety Act 2006. The most likely penalty is a fine with penalty points. However, disqualification should be considered where there is a risk of further poor driving. This may be until a further test is passed which will be particularly appropriate where there are concerns about the overall driving ability of the defendant.

CAUSING DEATH BY CARELESS, OR INCONSIDERATE, DRIVING

s.2B Road Traffice Act, 1988

A person who causes the death of another person by driving a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, is guilty of an offence. This offence is triable either way. The maximum penalty is imprisonment of 12 months and/or a fine of level 5 (£5,000) on summary conviction and imprisonment of five years or a fine on indictment. It is an endorsable offence within the range of 3-11 points but one that attracts mandatory disqualifications in the absence of special reason.

CAUSING DEATH BY DRIVING: UNLICENSED, DISQUALIFIED OR UNINSURED DRIVERS

s.3ZB, Road Traffice Act 1988

A person is guilty of an offence under this section if he causes the death of another person by driving a motor vehicle on a road and, at the time when he is driving, the circumstances are such that he is committing an offence under - (a) section 87(1) of this Act (driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence), (b) section 103(1)(b) of this Act (driving while disqualified), or (c) section 143 of this Act (using motor vehicle while uninsured or unsecured against third party risks.) This offence is triable either way. The maximum penalty is imprisonment of up to 12 months and/or a fine of level 5 (£5,000) on summary conviction and imprisonment of two years or a fine on indictment. It is an endorsable offence within the range of 3-11 points but one that attracts mandatory disqualification in the absence of special reasons.

DRIVING ETC. WHILST UNFIT THROUGH ALCOHOL OR DRUGS

s.4, Road Traffic Act 1988

(1) A person who, when driving or attempting to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place, in unfit to drive through drink or drugs is guilty of an offence. (2) Without prejudice to subsection (1) above, a person who, when in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle which is on a road or other public place, is unfit to drive through drink or drugs is guilty offence. (3) For the purpose of subsection (2) above, a person shall be deemed not to have been in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle if he proves that at the material time the circumstances were such that there was no likelihood of this driving it so long as he remained unfit to drive through drink or drugs. (4) The court may, in determining whether there was such a likelihood as is mentioned in subsection (3) above, disregard any injury to him and any damage to the vehicle. (5) For the purposes of this section, a person shall be taken to be unfit to drive if his ability to drive properly is for the time being impaired. The offences are summary only. The maximum penalty for driving or attempting to drive is a fine of level 5 and/or six months' imprisonment. In relation to offences committed on or after commencement of Criminal Justice Act 2003, ss.181, 280-282 the maximum custodial sentence able to be imposed in a magistrates' court will be a custody plus order. There is a mandatory requirement to disqulaify from driving (in the absence of the special reasons) for one year.

DRIVING ETC. WITH EXCESS ALCOHOL IN THE BODY

s.5, Road Traffic Act 1988

(1) If a person (a) drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, or (b) is in charge of a motor vehicle on a road or other public place, after comsuming so much alcohol that the proportion of it in his breath, blood or urine exceeds the prescribed limit he is guilty of an offence. (2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1)(b) above to prove that at the time he is alleged to have committed the offence the circumstances were such that there was no likelihood of his driving the vehicle whilst the proportion of alcohol in his breath, blood or urine remained likely to exceed the prescribed limit. (3)The court may, in determining whether there was such likelihood as is mentioned in subsection (2) above, disregard any injury to him and any damage to the vehicle. The offences are summary only. The maximum penalty for driving or attempting to drive is a fine of level 5(currently £5000) and/or six months' imprisonment.In relation to offences committed on or after commencement of Criminal Justice Act 2003, ss.181, 280-282 the maximum custodial sentence able to be imposed in a magistrates' court will be a custody plus order. There is a mandatory requirement to disqulaify from driving (in the absence of the special reasons) for one year.

FAILURE TO SUPPLY A SPECIMEN FOR ANALYSIS

ss.7-11, Road Traffice Act 1988

A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to provide a specimen when required to do so in pursuance of this section is guilty of an offence. In the course of an investigation into wether a person has committed an offence a constable may require him to provide two specimens of breath for analysis by means of a device, to provide a specimen of blood or urine for a laboratory test. These offences are triable summarily only. The maximum penalty for attempting to drive is a fine of level 5(currently £5000) and/or six months' imprisonment.In relation to offences committed on or after commencement of Criminal Justice Act 2003, ss.181, 280-282 the maximum custodial sentence able to be imposed in a magistrates' court will be a custody plus order. There is a mandatory requirement to disqulaify from driving (in the absence of the special reasons) for one year.

TRAFFIC SIGNS

s.36, Road Traffic Act 1988

It is an offence to fail to comply with traffic signs properly placed. This section states the law generally and the deals specifically with the four signs that, on conviction, are endorsable. The offence is summary only. Contravention of most traffic signs is punishable by a fine only - up to level 3 (£1000). However, in respect of a small number of signs, it is endorsable with three penalty points and thus subject to discretionary disqualification. The relevant signs are traffic lights, pedestrain crossings, double white lines, stop signs.

USING A  VEHICLE WITHOUT HOLDING A DRIVING LICENCE

s.87, Road Traffic Act 1988

(1) It is an offence for a person to drive on a road a motor vehicle of any class otherwise than in accordance with a licence authorising his to drive a motor vehicle of that calss. (2) It is an offence for a person to cause or permit another person to drive on a road a motor vehicle of any class otherwise than in accordance with a licence authoriseing that other person to drive a motor vehicle of that class. The offence is triable summarily only. The maximum penalty is a fine of level 3 (£1000). The Magistrates' court sentencein Guideline (2004) (under review) provide that the starting point for this offence is guideline fine A (50 per cent of the defendent's weekly income). It is endorsable (and thus disqualified) in some circumstances with a range of 3-6 penalty points.

RESTRICTION OF POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED DRUGS

s.5, Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

(1) Subject to any regulations under section 7 of this Act for the time being in force, it shall not be lawful for a person to have a controlled drug in his possession. The offence is triable either way: section 25 and Schedule 4 of the Act. (2) Subject to section 28 of this Act and to subsection (4) below, it is an offence for a person to have a controlled drug in his possession in contravention of subsection (1) above. (3) Subject to section 28 of this Act, it is an offence for a person to have a controlled drug in his possession, whether lawfully or not, with intent to supply it to another in contravention of section 4(1) of this Act. (4) In any proceedings for an offence under subsection (2) above in which it is proved that the accused had a controlled drug in his possession, it shall be a defence for him to prove- (a) that, knowing or suspecting it to be a controlled drug, he took possession of it for the purpose of preventing another from committing or continuing to commit an offence in connection with that drug and that as soon as possible after taking possession of it he took all such steps as were reasonably open to him to destroy the drug or to deliver it into the custody of a person lawfully entitled to take take custody of it; or (b) that, knowing or suspecting it to be a controlled drug, he took possession of it for the purpose of delivering it into the custody of a person lawfully entitled to take custody of it and that as soon as possible after taking possession of it he took all such steps as were reasonably open to him to delivery it into the custody of such a person. (5) Subsection (4) above shall apply in case of proceedings for an offence under section 19(1) of this Act consisting of an attempt to commit an offence undersection (2) above as it applies in the case of proceedings for an offence undersubsection (2), subject to the following modifications, that is to say- (a) for the reference to the accused having in his possession, and to his taking possession of, a controlled drug there shall be substituted respectively reference to his attempting to get, and to his attempting to take, possession of such a drug; and (b) in paragraphs (a) and (b) the words from and that as soon as possible" onwards shall be omitted. (6) Nothing in subsection (4) or (5) above shall prejudice any defence which it is open to a person charged with an offence under this section to raise apart from that subsection. It is necessary to draw a distinction between the three different classifications of drugs. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty for an offence under section 5(2) as regards a Class A is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum, or both. As regard a Class B drug, the maximum penalty is three months imprisonment, a fine or not more than £3,000 or both, and as regards a Class C drug, three months imprisonment, a fine or not more than £2,500 or both.

RESTRICTION OF CULTIVATION OF THE CANNABIS PLANT

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, s.6

(1) Subject to any regulations under section 7 of this Act for the time being in force, it shall not be lawful for a person to cultivate any plant of the genus Cannabis. (2) Subject to section 28 of this Act, it is an offence to cultivate any such plant in contravention of subsection (1) above. This offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty for this offence is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum, or both: section 25 and Schedule 4. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment: Criminal  Justice Act 2003, ss. 154 and 282.

OFFENCES COMMITTED BY OCCUPIERS OR PREMISES

s.8, Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

A person committed an offence it, being the occupier or concerned in the management of any premises, he knowingly permits or suffers any of the following activities to take place on those premises, that is to say- (a) producing or attempting to produce a controlled drug in contravention of section 4(1) of this Act; (b) supplying or attempting to supply a controlled drug to another in contravention of section 4(1) of this Act, or offering to supply a controlled drug to another in contravention of section 4(1); (c) preparing opium for smoking; (d) smoking cannabis, cannabis resin or prepared opium. The offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, and the offence concerns a Class A or B drug, the maximum penalty is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum, or both. When the offence concerns a Class C drug, the maximum penalty is three months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding  £2,500 or both:s.25 and Sched.4. After commencement of the relevant provisions the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment: Criminal Justice Act 2003, ss. 154 and 282.

OPIUM : PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES

s.9, Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Subject to section 28 of this Act, it is an offence for a person- (a) to smoke or otherwise use prepared for a person; or (b) to frequent a place used for the purpose of opium smoking; or (c) to have in his possession- (i) any pipes or other utensils made or adapted for use in connection with the smoking of opiun, being pipes or utensils which have been used by him or with his knowledge and permission in that connection or which he intends to use or permit others to use in that connection; or (ii) any utensils which have been used by him or with his knowledge and permission in connection with the prepration of opium for smoking. This offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty for this offence is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum, or both: section 25 and Schedule 4. After commencement of the relevant provisions, the maximum custodial sentence in a magistrates' court will be 12 months' imprisonment: Criminal Justice Act 2003, ss.154 and 282.

SMUGGLING

s.85(1) Customs and Excise Management Act 1979

(1) Any person who save for just and sufficient cause interferes in any way with any ship, aircraft, vehicle, buoy, anchor, chain, rope or mark which is being used for the purposes of any functions of the commissioners under Parts III to IV of this Act shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty of level 1 on the standard scale. This offence is triable summarily. The maximum penalty is a level on fine, i.e. £200.

BIGAMY

s.57, Offences against the Person Act 1861

Whosoever, being married, shall marry any other person during the life of the former husband or wife, whether the second marriage shall have taken place in England or Ireland or elsewhere, shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding seven years......Provided, that nothing in this section contained shall extend to any second marriage contracted elsewhere than in England and Ireland by ony other than a subject of Her Majesty, or to any person marrying a second time whose husband or wife shall have been continually absent from such person for the space of seven years then last past, and shall not have been known by such person for the space of seven years then last past, and shall not have been known by such person to be living within that time, or shall extend to any person who, at the time of such second marriage, shall have been divorced from the bond of the first marriage, or to any person whose former marriage shall have been declared void by the sentence of any court of competent jurisdtiction. The offence is triable either way. When tried summarily, the maximum penalty for this offence is six months' imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the prescribed sum or both: Magistrates' Courts Act 1980, s.32(1). As from the date of commencement of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, s.282(1), the maximum custodial sentence on summary conviction will be increased to 12months; but only in repect of offence committed on or after that date.   

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