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Sentencing Act 2020

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Exercise of powersE+W
124Fixing of fine: duty of court to inquire into individual offender's circumstancesE+W

(1)Before fixing the amount of any fine to be imposed on an offender who is an individual, a court must inquire into the offender's financial circumstances.

(2)For the power to make a financial circumstances order, see section 35.

(3)For modifications of this section where the court also makes an order under section 380 (power to order parent or guardian to pay fine, costs, compensation or surcharge), see section 128.

Commencement Information

I1S. 124 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

125Exercise of court's powers to impose fine and fix amountE+W

(1)The amount of any fine fixed by a court must be such as, in the opinion of the court, reflects the seriousness of the offence.

(2)In fixing the amount of any fine to be imposed on an offender (whether an individual or other person), a court must take into account the circumstances of the case including, in particular, the financial circumstances of the offender so far as they are known, or appear, to the court.

(3)Subsection (2) applies whether taking into account the financial circumstances of the offender has the effect of increasing or reducing the amount of the fine.

(4)In applying subsection (2), a court must not reduce the amount of a fine on account of any surcharge it orders the offender to pay under section 42, except to the extent that the offender has insufficient means to pay both.

(5)For modifications of this section where the court also makes an order under section 380 (power to order parent or guardian to pay fine, costs, compensation or surcharge), see section 128.

(6)For the effect of proceedings in relation to confiscation orders on the court's powers to impose or fix the amount of a fine, see the following provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002—

(a)section 13(4) (where confiscation order has been made);

(b)section 15 (where proceedings on a confiscation order have been postponed).

Commencement Information

I2S. 125 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

126Power to determine financial circumstances where offender is absent or fails to provide informationE+W

(1)This section applies where an offender—

(a)has been convicted in the offender's absence—

(i)in pursuance of section 11 or 12 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (non-appearance of accused), or

(ii)in proceedings conducted in accordance with section 16A of that Act (trial by single justice on the papers), or

(b)has failed—

(i)to provide a statement of the offender's financial circumstances in response to a request which is an official request for the purposes of section 20A of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (offence of making false statement as to financial circumstances),

(ii)to comply with an order under section 35(2) (statement as to offender's financial circumstances), or

(iii)otherwise to co-operate with the court in its inquiry into the offender's financial circumstances.

(2)If the court considers that it has insufficient information to make a proper determination of the financial circumstances of the offender for the purposes of section 125, it may make such determination as it considers appropriate.

Commencement Information

I3S. 126 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

127Remission of fines following determination under section 126E+W

(1)This section applies where a court has, in fixing the amount of a fine, determined the offender's financial circumstances under section 126 (offender absent or failing to provide information).

(2)If on subsequently inquiring into the offender's financial circumstances the court is satisfied that, had it had the results of that inquiry when sentencing the offender, it—

(a)would have fixed a smaller amount, or

(b)would not have fined the offender,

it may remit the whole or part of the fine.

(3)Where under this section the court remits the whole or part of a fine after a term of imprisonment, or detention under section 108 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, has been fixed under—

(a)section 129, or

(b)section 82(5) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (magistrates' powers in relation to default),

it must reduce the term by the corresponding proportion.

(4)In calculating any reduction required by subsection (3), any fraction of a day is to be ignored.

(5)Subsection (6) applies where—

(a)under this section the court remits the whole or part of a fine,

(b)the offender was ordered under section 42 to pay a surcharge, and

(c)the amount of the surcharge was set by reference to the amount of the fine.

(6)The court must—

(a)determine how much the surcharge would have been if the fine had not included the amount remitted, and

(b)remit the balance of the surcharge.

Commencement Information

I4S. 127 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

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