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Sentencing Act 2020

Changes over time for: Section 313

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Sentencing Act 2020, Section 313 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 05 October 2022. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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313Minimum sentence of 7 years for third class A drug trafficking offenceE+W

(1)This section applies where—

(a)a person is convicted of a class A drug trafficking offence (“the index offence”) committed on or after 1 October 1997,

(b)when the index offence was committed, the offender—

(i)was aged 18 or over, and

(ii)had 2 other relevant drug convictions, and

(c)one of the offences to which those other relevant drug convictions related was committed after the offender had been convicted of the other.

(2)[F1If the index offence was committed before the day on which section 124 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 came into force, the court] must impose an appropriate custodial sentence for a term of at least 7 years unless the court is of the opinion that there are particular circumstances which—

(a)relate to any of the offences or to the offender, and

(b)would make it unjust to do so in all the circumstances.

[F2(2A)If the index offence was committed on or after the day on which section 124 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 came into force, the court must impose an appropriate custodial sentence for a term of at least 7 years unless the court is of the opinion that there are exceptional circumstances which—

(a)relate to any of the offences or to the offender, and

(b)justify not doing so.]

(3)For the purposes of subsection (1), “relevant drug conviction” means—

(a)a conviction in any part of the United Kingdom of a class A drug trafficking offence,

F3(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c)a conviction of an offence under section 42 of the Armed Forces Act 2006 in respect of which the corresponding offence under the law of England and Wales (within the meaning of that section) is a class A drug trafficking offence, [F4or]

(d)a conviction of an offence under section 70 of the Army Act 1955, section 70 of the Air Force Act 1955 or section 42 of the Naval Discipline Act 1957 in respect of which the corresponding civil offence (within the meaning of the Act in question) is a class A drug trafficking offence, F5...

F5(e). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F6(3A)If the proceedings for the index offence were instituted before IP completion day (see section 397(5)), for the purposes of subsection (1) “relevant drug conviction” also includes—

(a)a conviction in a member State of an offence committed on or after 16 August 2010 which would, if committed in the United Kingdom at the time of the conviction, have constituted a class A drug trafficking offence, and

(b)a conviction of a member State service offence committed on or after 16 August 2010 which would have constituted a class A drug offence if committed in England and Wales at the time of conviction.]

(4)Where—

(a)a person is charged with a class A drug trafficking offence (which, apart from this subsection, would be triable either way), and

(b)the circumstances are such that, if convicted of the offence, the person could be sentenced for it under subsection (2) [F7or (2A)],

the offence is to be triable only on indictment.

(5)In this section “class A drug trafficking offence” means a drug trafficking offence committed in respect of a class A drug; and for this purpose—

  • class A drug” has the same meaning as in the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971;

  • drug trafficking offence” means an offence which is specified in—

    (a)

    paragraph 1 of Schedule 2 to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (drug trafficking offences), or

    (b)

    so far as it relates to that paragraph, paragraph 10 of that Schedule.

(6)In this section “an appropriate custodial sentence” means—

(a)in relation to an offender who is aged 21 or over when convicted of the index offence, a sentence of imprisonment;

(b)in relation to an offender who is aged under 21 when convicted of the index offence, a sentence of detention in a young offender institution (and includes, if the index offence is an offence for which a person aged 21 or over would be liable to imprisonment for life, a sentence of custody for life).

Textual Amendments

F3S. 313(3)(b) omitted (31.12.2020) by virtue of Sentencing Act 2020 (c. 17), s. 417(9), Sch. 22 para. 90(1)(a) (with Sch. 27) (as amended by S.I. 2020/1520, regs. 1(1), 5(8)(a))

F4Word in s. 313(3)(c) inserted (31.12.2020) by Sentencing Act 2020 (c. 17), s. 417(9), Sch. 22 para. 90(1)(b) (with Sch. 27) (as amended by S.I. 2020/1520, regs. 1(1), 5(8)(a))

F5S. 313(3)(e) and word omitted (31.12.2020) by virtue of Sentencing Act 2020 (c. 17), s. 417(9), Sch. 22 para. 90(1)(c) (with Sch. 27) (as amended by S.I. 2020/1520, regs. 1(1), 5(8)(a))

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I1S. 313 in force at 1.12.2020 by S.I. 2020/1236, reg. 2

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