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The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Criminal Courts Charge) Regulations 2015

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Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 (Criminal Courts Charge) Regulations 2015 and come into force on 13th April 2015.

(2) In these Regulations—

“the CAA 1968” means the Criminal Appeal Act 1968(1);

“the MHA 1983” means the Mental Health Act 1983(2);

“the POA 1985” means the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985;

“the CAA 1995” means the Criminal Appeal Act 1995(3).

Cases in which the duty to order payment of the criminal courts charge does not apply

2.—(1) An order under section 21A(1) of the POA 1985 (criminal courts charge) must not be made against a person (“P”) convicted of an offence in the following cases—

(a)where a court deals with P for the offence by making an order discharging P absolutely under section 12 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 (absolute discharge)(4);

(b)where a court deals with P for the offence by making in respect of P an order under section 37(1) of the MHA 1983 (power of courts to order hospital admission or guardianship)(5) or a direction under section 45A(3) of the MHA 1983 (power of higher courts to order hospital admission)(6);

(c)where the Crown Court dismisses an appeal against conviction or sentence for the offence following a reference by the Criminal Cases Review Commission under section 11(1) of the CAA 1995 (cases dealt with summarily in England and Wales);

(d)where the Court of Appeal dismisses an appeal for the offence under Part 1 of the CAA 1968 following a reference by the Criminal Cases Review Commission under section 9(1) of the CAA 1995 (cases dealt with on indictment in England and Wales).

(2) Paragraph (3) applies where a court deals with a person in the same proceedings—

(a)for an offence; and

(b)for a failure to comply with a requirement mentioned in section 21B of the POA 1985 (criminal courts charge: courts and times).

(3) An order under section 21A(1) of the POA 1985 must not be made in respect of a failure to comply with a requirement mentioned in section 21B of the POA 1985.

(4) Paragraph (5) applies where a court deals with a person in the same proceedings for a failure to comply with more than one of the requirements mentioned in section 21B of the POA 1985 and paragraph (3) does not apply.

(5) An order under section 21A(1) of the POA 1985 must not be made—

(a)where the court deals with the person for a failure to comply with requirements mentioned in section 21B(1)(b), (c) and (d) of the POA 1985, in respect of the failure to comply with requirements mentioned in section 21B(1)(c) or (d);

(b)where the court deals with the person for a failure to comply with requirements mentioned in section 21B(1)(b) and (c) of the POA 1985, in respect of the failure to comply with requirements mentioned in section 21B(1)(c);

(c)where the court deals with the person for a failure to comply with requirements mentioned in section 21B(1)(b) and (d) of the POA 1985, in respect of the failure to comply with requirements mentioned in section 21B(1)(d);

(d)where the court deals with the person for a failure to comply with requirements mentioned in section 21B(1)(c) and (d) of the POA 1985, in respect of the failure to comply with requirements mentioned in section 21B(1)(d);

(e)where the court deals with the person for a failure to comply with requirements mentioned in section 21B(2)(b) and (c) of the POA 1985, in respect of the failure to comply with requirements mentioned in section 21B(2)(c).

Amount of the criminal courts charge

3.—(1) The table in the Schedule, read with the provisions of this regulation, sets out the charge that must be ordered to be paid under section 21A(1) of the POA 1985 by class of case.

(2) Paragraph (3) applies where, following the summary conviction of a person (“P”) for an offence, a magistrates’ court commits P to the Crown Court for sentence and the Crown Court accordingly deals with P for the offence.

(3) The charge the Crown Court must order to be paid is the amount in column 2 of the table which corresponds to the amount the magistrates’ court would have had to order had P not been committed to the Crown Court for sentence.

(4) Paragraph (5) applies where more than one entry in column 1 of the table applies.

(5) The charge the court must order to be paid is the amount in column 2 which corresponds to the entry mentioned in paragraph (4) which results in the highest amount.

(6) Where a person (“P”) changes P’s plea from not guilty to guilty after the start of a summary or Crown Court trial the charge the court must order to be paid is the amount that would have applied if P had not changed the plea.

(7) For the purposes of paragraph (6)—

(a)the start of a summary trial is the time when the prosecution opens its case;

(b)the start of a Crown Court trial is—

(i)the time when a jury is sworn; or

(ii)where a trial takes place without a jury, the time when the prosecution opens its case.

Remittal of the criminal courts charge

4.  The period specified for the purposes of section 21E(4) of the POA 1985 (power to remit criminal courts charge) is—

(a)where the person liable to pay the charge has made the application to a magistrates’ court to remit the charge, two years;

(b)in any other case, 12 months.

Shailesh Vara

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

Ministry of Justice

19th March 2015

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