Kate McMahon of Edmonds Marshall McMahon was a guest speaker this morning on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss the recent legislative changes which will now, as at 13th April 2015, force guilty adult and corporate offenders to make a direct contribution to the criminal courts they are tried in. This contribution will be a maximum of £1,200 (non-guilty plea but found guilty in Crown Court) and with a starting point of £100 (early guilty plea in Magistrates’ Court).
The Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 introduced changes to the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 to provide for what has been labelled the ‘Criminal Courts Charges’.
There have been approximately 30 resignations from Magistrates across the UK on the basis that there was little consultation prior to the regulations coming into force and the non-discretionary nature of the court charge. There is some opinion that innocent people will be inclined to plead guilty “just in case” they are found guilty.
At Edmonds Marshall McMahon, our interests are always aligned to the rights of our clients, the victims. Therefore, we consider a further penalty upon the defendant should not necessarily be considered a negative advance.
Kate appeared in the debate hosted by Adrian Chiles, John Howell MP, Bob Hutchinson & George Lyons (both recently resigned Magistrates).
Read more about the legislative changes here.