Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

New sentencing rules and new offences: Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

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New rules arising from enactment of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 came into force on Monday 3 December 2012. The present package includes:

The provisions which came into effect include:

  • Introduction of ‘two strikes’ – imposition of a mandatory life sentence for people convicted of a second very serious sexual or violent offence;
  • New Extended Determinate Sentence (EDS) – Repleacing Indeterminate sentences, this is a new sentence for dangerous criminals convicted of serious sexual and violent crimes for whom there will be no automatic release from prison halfway through their sentence. They will only be released when they have served at least two-thirds of their prison sentence and may be kept inside prison until the end of their term;
  • Knife possession – New offences to target those who use a bladed or pointed article or offensive weapon in a public place or school to threaten and cause immediate risk of serious physical harm to another. These offences will be subject to a maximum penalty of 4 years’ imprisonment. They will also carry a minimum six month prison sentence for adults or a four month Detention and Training Order for 16 – 17 year olds;
  • Dangerous driving – new offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving with a maximum sentence of five years in prison;
  • Tough new sentences for hate crime – starting point of 30 years in prison for people convicted of murder motivated by hatred or hostility towards disability or transgender people, up from 15 years. This will bring such cases into line with murders aggravated by race, religion and sexual orientation;
  • Tougher community sentences – increase in the maximum length of a curfew requirement in a community sentence from 6 to 12 months, increasing the maximum period of time criminals can be subject to a curfew from 12 to 16 hours per day. Introducing foreign travel bans; and
  • Challenging bail decisions. This will allow prosecutors to challenge Crown Court bail decisions where there is serious risk of harm to a member of the public.

Further changes resulting from enactment of LASPO will be brought into effect during 2013.

See http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/press-releases/moj/new-sentences-and-criminal-offences-come-into-effect

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Written by lwtmp

December 5, 2012 at 11:28 am

Posted in Chapter 5

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