How Long After Trial Is Sentencing in UK (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Average of 50 days

In most of the small cases like a minor crime, participating in group stealing, or trespassing over someone else’s property, no charges will be issued. Police will give or issue them a serious warning or penalty rather than charging them with serious punishments. In these cases, no damages happen, and no one gets hurt.

But most people have a significant opinion on crime and imprisonment. Court and Judges play a crucial role in providing justice to innocents and sentencing to criminals. Usually, Criminal cases are investigated first at Crown Prosecution Service and taken to court for sentencing where the magistrate makes the decision considering all the factors, pieces of evidence, and circumstances.

How Long After Trial Is Sentencing UK?

Sentencing usually happens after two or three trials, whereas in few cases, it may happen abruptly at the end of the first trial, if everything is clear or it may break off due to delay in reports and few cases, it is further moved to a future date due to some reasons.  In case of deferment, the defendant has to come on the scheduled date to hear the decision or for sentencing. 

This may take place even after a couple of weeks or after a month. Once the first trial has begun, judges will make sure of fair treatment as far as possible and equal chances will be given to both parties to prove their innocence. The magistrate or judge plays a vital and active role during all the trials, controlling the case concerning the relevant law and reports of the previous trial.

The foremost step in this process is preparing the charge sheet. Unless the next day is Sunday, the police will place you in the court the very next day for judgment. Usually, in serious crimes and cases, police keep the suspected people in jail to prevent them from going out through bail or those who have a major role in the crime.

After the first trial, sometimes you could not predict the exact date of the next or final hearing date from the court. You will be notified regarding your court date and place and you must attend it on the assigned date without fail. In case of multiple trials, those will be held either in the Crown Court or in the magistrate’s court.

In summary,

ProceduresPeriod
To charge after committing the crime323 days
For the first hearing after the charge34 days
Hearing to the first trial119 days
First trial to completion50 days

Why It Take That Long After Trial To get Sentence?

In the UK, it is the most popular practice of representing themselves in the court. The reason behind this might differ as most of them prefer to speak up on their own. But, representing yourself without any help from a lawyer would not reduce the time of getting a sentence. Though the process may catch up a little speed, this does not make difference significantly.

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Generally, the magistrate will make the decision immediately after trials. But few courts prefer a future date to proceed with final hearing or sentencing. Normally, sentence hearing takes place only for a few couples of minutes, if there is no argument from the parties. But when the agreement does not takes place after the particular trial, either the judge will make his final decision or adjourned to a later date.

Judges too should note down few factors like, guiltiness of the defendant, the maximum sentence which they can give, and also should revisit the sentences made out in past for similar cases. Before making the sentence or decision of the respective case, the judge and the District Judge (MC) must take the age and circumstances of an offender into consideration. Some minor crimes do not require any heavy punishment or long-term imprisonment.

The procedure of sentencing will be similar in both the Crown Court and magistrate’s court of the UK. When you have more than one offender and when an argument takes place between them, this delays the case much longer. Your imprisonment period depends on the judge.

Conclusion

Trials would have few complications and the number of trials varies depending on the evidence available. You may get a sentence on the day of the first trial or after multiple trials, depending on the severity of the case. If the crime is more complex, it takes longer to get a sentence.

If you are one of the victims or eyewitnesses, you need to be present on the hearing date, but due to some issues, if you have left the court in between, you can contact one of your party person or respective lawyer for the information. Once the crime is proved and the judge has made the decision, the offender is taken to the nearby prison initially then relocated to a particular prison, by looking into various factors like security, length of imprisonment, nature of the offense.

References

  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/molr76&section=17
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0264550508099713
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