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Criminal Law Act 1967

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4Penalties for assisting offenders.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Where a person has committed [F1a relevant offence], any other person who, knowing or believing him to be guilty of the offence or of some [F2other relevant offence], does without lawful authority or reasonable excuse any act with intent to impede his apprehension or prosecution shall be guilty of an offence.

[F3(1A) In this section and section 5 below, “ relevant offence ” means—

(a)an offence for which the sentence is fixed by law,

(b)an offence for which a person of 18 years or over (not previously convicted) may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of five years (or might be so sentenced but for the restrictions imposed by section 33 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980).]

(2)If on the trial of an indictment for [F4a relevant offence] the jury are satisfied that the offence charged (or some other offence of which the accused might on that charge be found guilty) was committed, but find the accused not guilty of it, they may find him guilty of any offence under subsection (1) above of which they are satisfied that he is guilty in relation to the offence charged (or that other offence).

(3)A person committing an offence under subsection (1) above with intent to impede another person’s apprehension or prosecution shall on conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment according to the gravity of the other person’s offence, as follows:—

(a)if that offence is one for which the sentence is fixed by law, he shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than ten years;

(b)if it is one for which a person (not previously convicted) may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of fourteen years, he shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than seven years;

(c)if it is not one included above but is one for which a person (not previously convicted) may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of ten years, he shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than five years;

(d)in any other case, he shall be liable to imprisonment for not more than three years.

(4) No proceedings shall be instituted for an offence under subsection (1) above except by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions: . . . F5

(5) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F6

(6) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F7

(7) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F8

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Amendments (Textual)

F6 Ss. 4(5), 5(4) repealed by Criminal Law Act 1977 (c. 45) , s. 65(5)(7) , Sch. 13

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C1 S. 4(1) amended as to mode of trial by Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (c. 43, SIF 82) , Sch. 1 para. 26 ( a )

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