The Sentencing Council have published new sentencing guidelines in respect of offenders who breach their court orders, this therefore provides a much clearer approach for the Courts.
The guidelines assist the Courts in considering the seriousness of the breach by considering:
- How much of an order has been completed
- How deliberate the breach has been
There could be an uncharacteristic breach after overall good compliance with the Probation Service and other breaches may be due to wilful persistent non-compliance from the very beginning of the order.
Courts are now required to follow the guidelines.
For example: in respect of a suspended sentence order, when this order is breached the legislation states that the order must be activated. For activation of the suspended sentence, to consider that the activation would be unjust there must be new and exceptional circumstances that prevented the person from complying with the order.
If you have any criminal law issues then please contact one of our criminal department members at one of our offices who would be more than happy to assist.