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.
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.
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.
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.
Professor Ormerod, one of the country’s foremost experts in relation to Criminal Sentencing, had been appointed to look at replacing the existing laws on sentencing with a single Sentencing Code.
The Sentencing Code will essentially be a consolidation of the existing laws which govern sentencing procedure. It aims to bring together elements from the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, and Parts of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 as well as other Acts. Once enacted and brought into force, it is anticipated that the Sentencing Code will provide the first port of call for laws concerning sentencing procedure.
The Sentencing Code was first published by the Law Commission in November 2018.
In May 2019, the government accepted the main recommendation of the Report to enact both pieces of legislation. In April 2020 the government set out its consideration of the further recommendations for the reform of sentencing law that are set out in the report.
The proposals do not affect the length or type of sentences that can be imposed. The recommendations, are designed to bring greater clarity to the guidelines to enable criminal solicitors and others to better understand the language and procedure. The sentencing code is designed to modernise the law and bring about greater transparency.
Law Commissioner Professor David Ormerod QC said: “Our changes will make sentencing simpler, by getting rid of the need to dust off decades’ old law, cut Court waiting times and help make sure people get the justice they deserve.”
Ministers will increase the Victim Surcharge by 5 per cent. The surcharge is imposed by courts on all offenders to ensure they hold some responsibility towards the cost of supporting victims.
It will see up to £2 million extra per year go to vital services for victims, such as rape support centres and the National Homicide Service.
Today’s announcement follows a pledge to raise the surcharge by 25 per cent, which will be considered as part of an upcoming consultation on a Victims’ Law.
Justice Minister Alex Chalk MP said:
It is right that offenders should do more to repair the harm caused by their crimes. That is why we are raising the surcharge and will consult on further increases to ensure criminals take greater responsibility for the cost of supporting victims. This is only one part of our ongoing work improve support at every stage of the justice system, including by strengthening victims’ rights through a Victims’ Law.
Adult criminals and organisations currently pay between £21 and £181 under the Victim Surcharge. This will increase to a maximum of £190 depending on the sentence handed down.
This builds on recent government action to transform the support offered to victims, including by consulting on a new Victims’ Code which sets out the minimum level of information and service victims can expect from criminal justice agencies.
The Victim Surcharge is not a fine, but a separate charge courts must impose on all offenders to ensure they hold some responsibility towards the cost of supporting victims.
Revenue from the Surcharge contributes to the Victim and Witness Budget which we use to grant fund Police and Crime Commissioners, who commission local support services for victims. It also funds nationally commissioned support such as: Rape Support centres across England and Wales, the Court Based Witness Service and the National Homicide Service.
We project the 5% increase to raise an between £1 million and £2 million a year to help fund victim support victims.
It will see offenders pay between £1 to £9 extra, depending on their sentence.
Estimates on how much increases to the Victim Surcharge could make are based on no change in future court demand or shift in offence mix proceeded against.
A 25 per cent increase based on current levels would could see £7 million extra a year for victim support services.
A Statutory Instrument will come into effect in relation to offences committed on or after 14 April.