Most good criminal solicitors would advise that an extended sentence is where the license element of a sentence is extended. In “normal” circumstances (non-extended sentences), the defendant will be released from prison early and will be subject to a license period until the end of the sentence imposed by the Judge. Where an extended sentence is imposed, the license period is extended.
The most significant impact of an extended sentence is the time spent in custody. Unlike usual fixed term (determinate) sentences where a prisoner is automatically released at the halfway point, under an extended sentence, a prisoner is only eligible for release at the two thirds point. At the point of sentence, the judge should state what the custodial element is and what the extended license provision is. Where the extended sentence has a custodial element of 10 years or more OR the offence is Schedule 15b offence, there is no automatic release even at the two thirds point and release will be subject to approval by the parole board. Therefore, if the custodial term imposed is less than ten years AND the offence is not one listed in Schedule 15B, release must take place by the time two-thirds of this custodial element of the sentence has been served. A good firm of criminal solicitors will be able to advise you before hand of the liklihood and impact of any sentence.
An extended sentence can only be imposed by a Crown Court Judge, and only if the following conditions required to impose an extended sentence are present:
1. The person being sentenced is over 17 years of age (adult defendant); and
2. That the adult defendant has been convicted (guilty plea or otherwise) of a specified violent or sexual offence (see below); and
3. The Crown Court Judge has assessed the defendant to be Dangerous (see below); and
4. The Crown Court Judge has determined that a sentence of imprisonment for life is not justified (or available); and
5. The defendant EITHER has a previous conviction for an offence listed in Schedule 15B to the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (see below); or
6. The judge determines that, in the event of imposing an extended sentence, the custodial element of the sentence should be at least 4 years.
This can get a little complex and you should rely on a good firm of criminal solicitors to advise you of the finer details.
Whilst this is something that you can look up for yourself, you should seek guidance from a good firm of criminal solicitors. As a guide, a Specified Violent offence is determined by reference to Schedule 15 Parts 1 and 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. They include:
Terrorism offences including preparation & training for terrorism, False Imprisonment, Kidnapping, Threats to kill, Assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage, assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, arson, wounding, violent disorder, wounding with intent, child cruelty, possession of a firearm with intent to resist arrest, possession of a firearm with intent endanger life, possession of a firearm with intent cause fear of violence, robbery, aggravated burglary, affray, causing death by dangerous driving, or death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, racially or religiously aggravated assault/public order offences, harassment by putting people in fear of violence. All of these will require consideration of an extended sentence or an extended sentence for public protection. Speak to us at our offices in East Ham and Finchley, Barnet
A Specified Sexual offence is also determined by reference to Schedule 15 Parts 1 and 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. They include:
Rape (oral or vaginal), sexual or indecent assault, controlling/causing/inciting prostitution, numerous child sex offences, being in possession of indecent images of children, numerous sex offences relating to victims with a mental disorder, people trafficking for sexual exploitation, exposure, voyeurism.
A good firm of criminal solicitors will be able to advise you of the implications of the charges you face & advice on extended sentence or extended sentence for public protection.
Remember that one of two (further) conditions need to be satisfied before the Judge can consider an extended sentence. If the custodial element of the sentence that the judge considers appropriate is 4 years or less, then the Judge can only consider an extended sentence if the defendant has a previous conviction for one or more of the offences listed within Schedule 15B of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which include the following offences (or attempts to commit these offences):
Causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult, Soliciting Murder, certain terrorism offences, robbery (where the defendant was in possession of a firearm or imitation firearm), wounding with intent and causing grievous bodily harm with intent (s.18 Offences Against the Person Act 1861), possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, Manslaughter, using a firearm to resist arrest, assault by penetration and numerous sexual offences relating to child victims or victims with a mental disorder, carrying a firearm with criminal intent, indecent child images offences, rape.
Specialist criminal solicitors will be able to go through these issues with you.
The central issue is for a Crown Court Judge to determine whether a defendant poses a significant risk to members of the public of serious harm by committing further specified offences and therefore whether to impose an extended sentence or an extended sentence for public protection.
The Judge is required to consider all the information available to him or her about the nature and circumstances of the offence, the nature and circumstances of any other offences the defendant has committed (in any jurisdiction). The judge should consider any other information available to the court about the defendant and may take into account any information about the pattern of offending.
It is important that specialist criminal solicitors are on hand to help you with this issue to assist in gathering as much information as possible.
As is the case with most custodial sentences, a person will be on licence following their release from prison. Where the sentence has been extended, the extended licence period can be anything from 1 year to a maximum of 8 years (5 in the case of specified violent offence). The important aspect that all good criminal solicitors should know and be aware of is that custodial element and licence element when added together cannot exceed the maximum sentence prescribed for that offence.
The calculations can get a little complicated, so it is important that your specialist criminal solicitors do the calculations for you and provide you with all the information.
Extended sentences are said to have been introduced to provide further protection to the public in certain types of cases where the court has found that the offender is dangerous. The Crown Court must determine that an extended licence period is required to protect the public from risk of harm.
You can find the latest cases on Extended sentences here.