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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm
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I been charged section 39 of criminal justice act 1998 whats

Customer Question

I been charged section 39 of criminal justice act 1998 what's the outcome
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
My name is Alex Hughes and I'm happy to help with your question today.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Alex I have no Crimal record.have been charged for section 39 of criminal justice act 1998. What's the average outcome?
Expert:  Alice H replied 4 years ago.
Good Morning

There is no average outcome I'm afraid. The outcome in each casd depends on the facts and the offenders mitigation.

Common assault can only be tried in the Magistrates Court - there is no option to send the matter to the Crown Court for trial by Judge and Jury.

If you plead not guilty the case will be adjourned to a new date for trial. A guilty plea might result in immediate sentencing or the case would be adjourned to another date while you are seen and assessed by the Probation Service.

The range of sentences available to the Magistrates is a fine, community order (e.g. unpaid work/supervision) or, in particularly bad cases, a prison sentence to a maximum of 6 months.

Without knowing the type of assault that took place its difficult to give you a definitive answer but these are the steps the Court would take:

1. First the Court would look at the facts of the case to determine the sentencing category: Cat 3 is the lowest and would usually cover a single push or punch and lower harm and culpability , Cat 2 mid-range would be more than a single push or punch and involve a greater level of harm and Cat 1 is most serious and would usually cover offences which involve, for example, weapons or threat of weapons and more serious injury.

2. Once the court has determined the category it will look at the sentencing range which is as follows:

Category 1: Discharge/Fine to Medium level community order (e.g. 50 - 80 hours unpaid work)

Category 2: Fine to High level community order (e.g. 80 - 150 hours unpaid work)

Cat 3: High level community order to 6 months in prison.

3. The Court would then look at aggravating and mitigating factors to decide where in the sentencing range the case falls.

If you decide to plead guilty at the first hearing you would be entitled to a 30% reduction on your sentence. So in the worse case scenario if you were looking at a six month prison sentence, the Court would reduce this to four months. Or if you were looking at a 300 hour unpaid work requirement this wouLd be reduced to 200 hours.

So, the more serious a case is the more severe the penalty. A minor incident for a first time offender is unlikely to attract anything more than a fine or at worse a community order.

I hope this assists.