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The table below is a quick reference guide with offences and their corresponding maximum sentences. To find information about criminal cases you can use the advanced search to search by criminal offence, date, defendant, solicitor, barrister and judge and see the Criminal Sentencing Guidelines in action. When viewing a criminal sentence, click on the offence to view details of the maximum penalty and other criminal cases involving the same offence. You can also select the links to the legal teams involved. The Legal Directory will help you find experienced criminal chambers, criminal barristers and criminal solicitors.
Offence : Contrary To : Maximum Penalty :
 
Homicide and related grave offences
Murder Common law Life
Attempted Murder Common law Life
Manslaughter Common law Life
Soliciting to commit murder Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.4 Life
Child destruction Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929 s.1(1) Life
Infanticide Infanticide Act 1938 s.1(1) Life
Causing explosion likely to endanger life or property Explosive Substances Act 1883 s.2 Life
Attempt to cause explosion, making or keeping explosive etc. Explosive Substances Act 1883 s.3 Life
Offences involving serious violence or damage, and serious drugs offences
Destroying, damaging or endangering the safety of an aircraft Aviation Security Act 1982 s. 2 Life
Endangering the safety of an aircraft Aviation Security Act 1982 s. 2(1)(b) Life
Racially-aggravated arson (endangering life) Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s. 30 Life
Kidnapping Common law Life
False imprisonment Common law Life
Torture Criminal Justice Act s.134 Life
Aggravated criminal damage Criminal Damage Act 1971 s.1(2) Life
Aggravated arson Criminal Damage Act 1971 s.1(2), (3) Life
Arson (where value exceeds £30,000) Criminal Damage Act 1971 s.1(3) Life
Hostage-taking Taking of Hostages Act 1982 s.1 Life
Hijacking Aviation Security Act 1982 s. 1 Life
Other acts endangering or likely to endanger the safety of an aircraft Aviation Security Act 1982 s. 3 Life
Hijacking of ships Aviation & Maritime Security Act 1990 s.9 Life
Endagering safety at aerodromes Aviation & Maritime Security Act 1990 s.1 Life
Seizing or exercising control of fixed platforms Aviation & Maritime Security Act 1990 s.10 Life
Destroying fixed platforms or endangering their safety Aviation & Maritime Security Act 1990 s.11 Life
Other acts endangering or likely to endanger safety navigation Aviation & Maritime Security Act 1990 s.12 Life
Offences involving threats Aviation & Maritime Security Act 1990 s.13 Life
Offences relating to Channel Tunnel trains and the tunnel system Channel Tunnel Security Order 1994 Life
Genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and related offences other then one involving murder International Criminal Court Act 2001 s.51 or s.52 30 years
Possession of firearm with intent to endanger life Firearms Act 1968 s.16 Life
Possession of firearm with intent to cause fear of violence Firearms Act 1968 s.16A 10 years
Use of firearm to resist arrest Firearms Act 1968 s.17(1) Life
Possession of firearm at time of committing or being arrested for offence specified in schedule 1 to that Act Firearms Act 1968 s.17(2) Life
Possession of firearm with criminal intent Firearms Act 1968 s.18 Life
Possession or acquisition of certain prohibited weapons etc. Firearms Act 1968 s.5  
Possessing or distributing prohibited weapon or ammunition (5 year minimum sentence) Firearms Act 1968 10 years
Trespassing with firearm or imitation firearm in a building Firearms Act 1968 7 years
Carrying firearm or imitation firearm in public place Firearms Act 1968 7 years
Shortening a shot gun; conversion of firearm Firearms Act 1968 7 years
Trading in firearms without being registered as firearms dealer Firearms Act 1968 5 years
Selling firearm to person without a certificate Firearms Act 1968 5 years
Repairing, testing etc. firearm without a certificate Firearms Act 1968 5 years
Falsifying certificate etc. with view to acquisition of firearm Firearms Act 1968 5 years
Carrying of any offensive weapon in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse Prevention of Crime Act 1953 s.1 4 years
Manufacture, sale, hire, offer for sale or hire, exposure or possession for the purpose of sale or hire, or lending or giving to any other person and the importation of flick knives and gravity knives (fine up to £5000) Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 s1(1) 6 months
Having an article with a blade or a sharp point in a public place without good reason or lawful authority. (An exemption applies to folding pocket knives with a blade of less than three inches).
Criminal Justice Act 1988 S139 2 years
unlawful marketing of knives as suitable for combat, or in ways likely to stimulate or encourage violent behaviour Knives Act 1997 2 years
Aggravated burglary Theft Act 1968 s.10 Life
Robbery or assault with intent to rob Theft Act 1968 s.8 Life
Armed robbery Theft Act 1968 s.8(1) Life
Assault with weapon with intent to rob Theft Act 1968 s.8(2) Life
Blackmail Theft Act 1968 s.21 14 years
Riot Public Order Act 1986 s.1 10 years
Violent disorder Public Order Act 1986 s.2 5 years
Contamination of goods with intent Public Order Act 1986 s.38 Life
Causing death by dangerous driving Road Traffic Act 1988 s.1 14 years
Causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs Road Traffic Act 1988 s.3A 14 years
Aggravated vehicle taking resulting in death Theft Act 1968 s.12A 14 years
Causing danger to road users Road Traffic Act 1988 s.22A  
Attempting to choke, suffocate, strangle etc. Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.21 Life
Destroying or damaging property other then an offence of arson Criminal Damage Act 1971 s.1(2) Life
Causing miscarriage by poison, instrument Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.58 Life
Making threats to kill Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.16 10 years
Wounding or grievous bodily harm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm etc. Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.18 Life
Endangering the safety of railway passengers Offences against the Person Act 1861 ss.32, 33, 34 Life
Impeding persons endeavouring to escape wrecks Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.17 Life
Administering chloroform, laudanum etc. Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.22 Life
Administering poison etc. so as to endanger life Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.23 10 years
Cruelty to persons under 16 Children and Young Persons Act 1933 s.1 10 years
Aiding and abetting suicide Suicide Act 1961 s.2 14 years
Prison mutiny Prison Security Act 1992 s.1  
Assaulting prison officer whilst possessing firearm etc. Criminal Justice Act 1991 s.90  
Producing or supplying a Class A or B drug Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.4  
Possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.5 Life
Possession of a Class B or C drug with intent to supply Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.5 14 years
Manufacture and supply of scheduled substances Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990 s.12  
Fraudulent evasion of controls on Class A and B drugs Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.170(2)(b), (c)  
Illegal importation of Class A and B drugs Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.50  
Offences in relation to proceeds of drug trafficking Drug Trafficking Act 1994 ss.49, 50 and 51  
Offences in relation to money laundering investigations Drug Trafficking Act 1994 ss.52 and 53  
Practitioner contravening drug supply regulations Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 ss.12 and 13  
Cultivation of cannabis plant Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.6  
Occupier knowingly permitting drugs offences etc. Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.8  
Activities relating to opium Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.9  
Drug trafficking offences at sea Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990 s.18  
Firing on Revenue vessel Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.85  
Making or possession of explosive in suspicious circumstances Explosive Substances Act 1883 s.4(1)  
Causing bodily injury by explosives Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.28  
Using explosive or corrosives with intent to cause grievous bodily harm Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.29  
Hostage taking Taking of Hostages Act 1982 s.1  
Offences against international protection of nuclear material Nuclear Material (Offences) Act 1983 s.2  
Placing explosives with intent to cause bodily injury Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.30 14 years
Membership of proscribed organisations Terrorism Act 2000 s.11  
Support or meeting of proscribed organisations Terrorism Act 2000 s.12  
Uniform of proscribed organisations Terrorism Act 2000 s.13  
Fund-raising for terrorism Terrorism Act 2000 s.15  
Other offences involving money or property to be used for terrorism Terrorism Act 2000 ss.16-18  
Disclosure prejudicing, or interference of material relevant to, investigation of terrorism Terrorism Act 2000 s.39  
Weapons training Terrorism Act 2000 s.54  
Directing terrorist organisation Terrorism Act 2000 s.56  
Possession of articles for terrorist purposes Terrorism Act 2000 s.57  
Unlawful collection of information for terrorist purposes Terrorism Act 2000 s.58  
Incitement of terrorism overseas Terrorism Act 2000 s.59  
Concealing criminal property Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.327  
Involvement in arrangements facilitating the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.328  
Acquisition, use or possession of criminal property Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.329  
Failure to disclose knowledge or suspicion of money laundering: regulated sector Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.330  
Failure to disclose knowledge or suspicion of money laundering: nominated officers in the regulated sector Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.331  
Failure to disclose knowledge or suspicion of money laundering: other nominated officers Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.332  
Tipping off Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.333  
Disclosure under sections 330, 331, 332 or 333 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 otherwise than in the form and manner prescribed Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.339(1A)  
Causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 s.5 14 years
Female circumcision Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 s.1 5 years
Female genital mutilation Female Geneital Mutilation Act 2003 s.1 14 years
Assisting a girl to mutilate her own genitalia Female Geneital Mutilation Act 2003 s.2 14 years
Assisting a non-UK person to mutilate overseas a girl's genitalia Female Geneital Mutilation Act 2003 s.3 14 years
Lesser offences involving violence or damage, and less serious drugs offences
Racially-aggravated assault - ABH or GBH Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s. 29(1) 7 years
Racially-aggravated common assault Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s. 29 2 years
Racially-aggravated criminal damage Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s. 30(1) 2 years
Unlawful wounding Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.20 5 years
Assault occasioning actual bodily harm Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.47 5 years
Concealment of birth Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.60 2 years
Abandonment of children under two Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.27 5 years
Arson (other than aggravated arson) where value does not exceed £30,000 Criminal Damage Act 1971 s.1(3)  
Criminal damage (other than aggravated criminal damage) Criminal Damage Act 1971 s.1(1)  
Possession of firearm without certificate Firearms Act 1968 s.1 10 years
Carrying loaded firearm in public place Firearms Act 1968 s.19 7 years
Trespassing with a firearm Firearms Act 1968 s.20 7 years
Shortening of shotgun or possession of shortened shotgun Firearms Act 1968 s.4 7 years
Shortening of smooth bore gun Firearms Amendment Act 1988 s.6(1)  
Possession or acquisition of shotgun without certificate Firearms Act 1968 s.2 10 years
Possession of firearms by person convicted of crime Firearms Act 1968 s.21(4)  
Acquisition by or supply of firearms to person denied them Firearms Act 1968 s.21(5) 5 years
Dealing in firearms Firearms Act 1968 s.3 5 years
Failure to comply with certificate when transferring firearm Firearms Act 1968 s.42  
Permitting an escape Common law  
Rescue Common law  
Escaping from lawful custody without force Common law  
Breach of prison Common law  
Harbouring escaped prisoners Criminal Justice Act 1961 s.22  
Assisting prisoners to escape Prison Act 1952 s.39  
Fraudulent evasion of agricultural levy Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.68A(1) and (2)  
Offender armed or disguised Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.86  
Making threats to destroy or damage property Criminal Damage Act 1971 s.2  
Possessing anything with intent to destroy or damage property Criminal Damage Act 1971 s.3  
Child abduction by connected person Child Abduction Act 1984 s.1  
Child abduction by other person Child Abduction Act 1984 s.2  
Bomb hoax Criminal Law Act 1977 s.51  
Producing or supplying Class C drug Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.4  
Possession of a Class C drug with intent to supply Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.5(3)  
Fraudulent evasion of controls on Class C drugs Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.170(2)(b), (c)  
Illegal importation of Class C drugs Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.50  
Possession of Class A drug Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.5(2)  
Failure to disclose knowledge or suspicion of money laundering Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986 s.26B  
Tipping-off in relation to money laundering investigations Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986 s.26C  
Assaults on officers saving wrecks Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.37 7 years
Attempting to injure or alarm the Sovereign Treason Act 1842 s.2  
Assisting illegal entry or harbouring persons Immigration Act 1971 s.25  
Employment of adults subject to immigration control: penalty notice Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 S.15(2) £10,000
Administering poison with intent to injure etc. Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.24  
Neglecting to provide food for or assaulting servants etc. Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.26  
Setting spring guns with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.31 5 years
Supplying instrument etc. to cause miscarriage Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.59  
Endeavouring to conceal a birth Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.60 2 years
Failure to disclose information about terrorism Terrorism Act 2000 s.19 5 years
Circumcision of females Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 s.1  
Breaking or injuring submarine telegraph cables Submarine Telegraph Act 1885 s.3  
Failing to keep dogs under proper control resulting in injury Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 s.3  
Making gunpowder etc. to commit offences Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.64  
Stirring up racial hatred Public Order Act 1986 ss.18-23  
Sexual offences and offences against children
Administering drugs to obtain intercourse Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.4 2 years
Procurement of a woman by threats Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.2 2 years
Procurement of a woman by false pretences Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.3 2 years
Attempted sexual intercourse with girl under 13 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.5 7 years
Procurement of a defective Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.9 2 years
Intercourse with a defective Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.7 2 years
Incest by man with a girl under 13 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.10 7 years
Incest by woman with a girl under 13 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.11 7 years
Attempted incest by man with a girl over 13 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.10 2 years
Gross indecency between male of 21 or over and male under 16 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.13  
Indecent assault on a woman Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.14 10 years
Indecent assault on a man Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.15 10 years
Abuse of position of trust Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000 s.3  
Man living on earnings of prostitution Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.30 7 years
Woman exercising control over prostitute Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.31  
Living on earnings of male prostitution Sexual Offences Act 1967 s.5 7 years
Inciting girl under 16 to have incestuous sexual intercourse Criminal Law Act 1977 s.54 2 years
Ill-treatment of persons of unsound mind Mental Health Act 1983 s.127  
Abduction of unmarried girl under 18 from parent Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.19 2 years
Abduction of unmarried girl under 16 from parent Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.20 2 years
Abduction of defective from parent Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.21 2 years
Causing prostitution of women Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.22 2 years
Procuration of girl under 21 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.23 2 years
Detention of woman in brothel Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.24 2 years
Permitting girl under 16 to use premises for intercourse Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.26 2 years
Permitting defective to use premises for intercourse Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.27 2 years
Causing or encouraging prostitution of, intercourse with or indecent assault on girl under 16 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.28 2 years
Causing or encouraging prostitution of defective Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.29 2 years
Soliciting by men Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.32 2 years
Keeping a brothel Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.33 6 months
Ill-treatment of patients Mental Health Act 1983 s.127 2 years
Sexual intercourse with patients Mental Health Act 1959 s.128 2 years
Sexual assault Sexual Offences Act 2003 s.3 Life
Causing sexual activity without penetration Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 4 Life
Paying for sexual services - penetration of a child aged 16 or 17 Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 47 7 years
Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 11 10 years
Causing a child to watch a sexual act Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 12 10 years
Child sex offence committed by person under 18 Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 13 5 years
Meeting child following sexual grooming Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 15 10 years
Abuse of trust: sexual activity with a child Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 16 5 years
Abuse of position of trust: causing a child to engage in sexual activity Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 17 5 years
Abuse of trust: sexual activity in the presence of a child Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 18 5 years
Abuse of position of trust: causing a child to watch sexual activity Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 19 5 years
Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a person with a mental disorder Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 32 7 years
Causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 33 7 years
Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a person with a mental disorder Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 36 7 years
Causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 37 7 years
Care workers: sexual activity in presence of a person with a mental disorder Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 40 7 years
Care workers: causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 41 7 years
Causing or inciting prostitution for gain Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 52 7 years
Controlling prostitution for gain Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 53 7 years
Administering a substance with intent Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 61 10 years
Committing offence with intent to commit sexual offence Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 62 10 years
Trespass with intent to commit sexual offence Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 63 10 years
Sex with adult relative: penetration Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 64 2 years
Sex with adult relative: consenting to penetration Sexual Offences Act 2003 s.65 2 years
Exposure Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 66 2 years
Voyeurism Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 67 2 years
Intercourse with an animal Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 69 2 years
Sexual penetration of a corpse Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 70 2 years
Creulty to children s1 Children & Young Persons Act 1933 10 years
Burglary etc
Burglary (domestic) Theft Act 1968 s.9(3)(a) 14 years
Aggravated burglary Theft Act 1968 s10 Life
Going equipped to steal Theft Act 1968 s.25  
Burglary with intent to inflict GBH on a person or do unlawful damage to a building or anything in it (dwelling) Theft Act 1968 s9 14 years
Burglary with intent to inflict GBH on a person or do unlawful damage to a building or anything in it (non-dwelling) Theft Act 1968 s9 10 years
Burglary with intent to commit rape (dwelling) Theft Act 1968 s9 14 years
Burglary with intent to commit rape (non-dwelling) Theft Act 1968 s9 10 years
Burglary (non-domestic) Theft Act 1968 s.9(3)(b) 10 years
Other offences of dishonesty
Destruction of registers of births etc. Forgery Act 1861 s.36  
Making false entries in copies of registers sent to register Forgery Act 1861 s.37  
Possession (with intention) of false identity documents Identity Cards Act 2006 s.25(1)  
Possession (with intention) of apparatus or material for making false identity documents Identity Cards Act 2006 s.25(3)  
Possession (without reasonable excuse) of false identity documents or apparatus or material for making false identity documents Identity Cards Act 2006 s.25(5)  
Undischarged bankrupt being concerned in a company Insolvency Act 1986 s. 360  
Counterfeiting notes and coins Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 s.14  
Passing counterfeit notes and coins Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 s.15  
Offences involving custody or control of counterfeit notes and coins Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 s.16  
Making, custody or control of counterfeiting materials etc. Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 s.175  
Illegal importation: counterfeit notes or coins Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.50  
Fraudulent evasion: counterfeit notes or coins Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.170(2)(b), (c)  
VAT offences Value Added Tax Act 1994 s. 72(1-8)  
Fraudulent evasion of duty Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s. 170(1)(b)  
Theft Theft Act 1968 s.1  
Removal of articles from places open to the public Theft Act 1968 s.11  
Abstraction of electricity Theft Act 1968 s.13  
Obtaining property by deception Theft Act 1968 s.15  
Obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception Theft Act 1968 s.16  
False accounting Theft Act 1968 s.17  
Handling stolen goods Theft Act 1968 s.22  
Obtaining services by deception Theft Act 1978 s.1  
Evasion of liability by deception Theft Act 1978 s.2  
Illegal importation: not elsewhere specified Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.50  
Counterfeiting Customs documents Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.168  
Fraudulent evasion: not elsewhere specified Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.170(2)(b), (c)  
Forgery Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 s.1  
Copying false instrument with intent Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 s.2  
Using a false instrument Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 s.3  
Using a copy of a false instrument Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 s.4  
Custody or control of false instruments etc. Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 s.5  
Offences in relation to dies or stamps Stamp Duties Management Act 1891 s.13  
Counterfeiting of dies or marks Hallmarking Act 1973 s.6  
Fraud by false representation Fraud Act 2006 s.2 10 years
Fraud by failing to disclose information Fraud Act 2006 s.3  
Fraud by abuse of position Fraud Act 2006 s.4  
Possession etc of articles for use in frauds Fraud Act 2006 s.6 5 years
Making or supplying articles for use in frauds Fraud Act 2006 s.7  
Participating in fraudulent business carried on by sole trader etc. Fraud Act 2006 s.9  
Obtaining services dishonestly Fraud Act 2006 s.11  
miscellaneous other offences
Breach of anti-social behaviour order Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s. 1(10)  
Breach of community sentences - Increase the severity of the existing sentence or Revoke the existing sentence and proceed as though sentencing for the original offence. Criminal Justice Act 2003 51 weeks custody (if custody was not available for the original offence)
Breach of sex offender order Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s. 2(8)  
Racially-aggravated public order offence Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s. 31(1) 2 years
Racially aggravated harassment/putting another in fear of violence Crime and Disorder Act 1998 s. 32(1)  
Having an article with a blade or point in a public place Criminal Justice Act 1988 s. 139 4 years
Breach of harassment injunction Protection from Harassment Act 1997 s. 3(6)  
Putting people in fear of violence Protection from Harassment Act 1997 s. 4(1) 5 years
Offences in relation to certain dangerous articles Aviation Security Act 1982 5 years
Breach of restraining order Protection from Harassment Act 1997 s. 5(5)  
Being drunk on an aircraft Air Navigation Order 2005, article 75  
Possession of offensive weapon Prevention of Crime Act 1953 s.1  
Affray Public Order Act 1986 s.3 3 years
Assault with intent to resist arrest Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.38 2 years
Unlawful eviction and harassment of occupier Protection from Eviction Act 1977 s.1  
Fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on importing indecent or obcene articles Customs & Excise Management Act 1979 s.170 7 years
Obscene articles intended for publication for gain Obscene Publications Act 1964 s.1  
Gross indecency between males (other than where one is 21 or over and the other is under 16) Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.13  
Solicitation for immoral purposes Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.32  
Buggery of males of 16 or over otherwise than in private Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.12  
Acts outraging public decency Common law  
Offences of publication of obscene matter Obscene Publications Act 1959 s.2  
Keeping a disorderly house Common law; Disorderly Houses Act 1751 s.8  
Indecent display Indecent Displays (Control) Act 1981 s.1  
Presentation of obscene performance Theatres Act 1968 s.2  
Procurement of intercourse by threats etc. Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.2  
Causing prostitution of women Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.22  
Detention of woman in brothel or other premises Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.24 2 years
Procurement of a woman by false pretences Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.3  
Procuring others to commit homosexual acts Sexual Offences Act 1967 s.4 2 years
Trade description offences (9 offences) Trade Descriptions Act 1968 ss.1, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14  
Misconduct endangering ship or persons on board ship Merchant Shipping Act 1970 s.27  
Obstructing engine or carriage on railway Malicious Damage Act 1861 s.36  
Offences relating to the safe custody of controlled drugs Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.11  
Possession of Class B or C drug Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 s.5(2)  
Wanton or furious driving Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.35 2 years
Dangerous driving Road Traffic Act 1988 s.2  
Forgery and misuse of driving documents Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 s.65  
Forgery of driving documents Road Traffic Act 1960 s.233  
Forgery etc. of licences and other documents Road Traffic Act 1988 s.173  
Mishandling or falsifying parking documents etc. Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 s.115  
Aggravated vehicle taking Theft Act 1968 s.12A 14 years
Failing to stop or failing to report Road Traffic Act 1988 6 months imprisonment and/ or £5,000 fine
Failing to nominate a driver at the time of an alleged offence Road Traffic Act 1988 S.172 Amended 2007 6 points and a fine of £1000.
Forgery, alteration, fraud of licences etc. Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 s.44  
Making off without payment Theft Act 1978 s.3  
Agreeing to indemnify sureties Bail Act 1976 s.9(1)  
Sending prohibited articles by post Post Office Act 1953 s.11  
Impersonating Customs officer Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.13  
Obstructing Customs officer Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.16  
Offences against public justice and similar offences
Conspiring to commit offences outside the United Kingdom Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Act 1998 s. 5  
Perverting the course of public justice Common law  
Perjuries (7 offences) Perjury Act 1911 ss.1-7(2)  
Corrupt transactions with agents Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 s.1  
Corruption in public office Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889 s.1  
Embracery Common law  
Fabrication of evidence with intent to mislead a tribunal Common law  
Personation of jurors Common law  
Concealing an arrestable offence Criminal Law Act 1967 s.5  
Assisting offenders Criminal Law Act 1967 s.4(1)  
False evidence before European Court European Communities Act 1972 s.11  
Personating for purposes of bail etc. Forgery Act 1861 s.34  
Intimidating a witness, juror etc. Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s.51(1)  
Harming, threatening to harm a witness, juror etc. Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s.51(2)  
Prejudicing a drug trafficking investigation Drug Trafficking Act 1994 s.58(1)  
Giving false statements to procure cremation Cremation Act 1902 s.8(2)  
False statement tendered under section 9 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967 Criminal Justice Act 1967 s.89  
Making a false statement to obtain interim possession order Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s.75(1)  
Making false statement to resist making of interim possession order Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s.75(2)  
False statement tendered under section 5B of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 s.106  
Making false statement to authorised officer Trade Descriptions Act 1968 s.29(2)  
Serious Sexual Offences
Rape Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.1(1) Life
Sexual intercourse with girl under 13 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.5 Life
Attempted sexual intercourse with girl under 13 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.5 7 years
Sexual intercourse with defective Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.7 Life
Incest by man with a girl under 13 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s. 10 Life
Buggery of person under 16 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.12  
Indecency with children under 14 Indecency with Children Act 1960 s.1(1) 10 years
Taking, having etc. indecent photographs of children Protection of Children Act 1978 s.1 10 years
Possession of indecent photograph of a child Criminal Justice Act 1988 s.160 5 years
Assault with intent to commit buggery Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.16 10 years
Abduction of woman by force Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.17 14 years
Permitting girl under 13 to use premises for sexual intercourse Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.25 Life
Allowing or procuring child under 16 to go abroad to perform Children and Young Persons Act 1933 ss.25, 26  
Abduction of unmarried girl under 16 from parent Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.20 Life
Permitting girl under 16 to use premises for intercourse Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.26 Life
Causing or encouraging prostitution of girl under 16 Sexual Offences Act 1956 s.28 Life
Rape Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 1 Life
Assault by penetration Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 2 Life
Sexual assault Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 3 10 years
Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 4 10 years
Rape of child under 13 Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 5 Life
Assault of child under 13 by penetration Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 6 Life
Sexual assault of child under 13 Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 7 14 years
Causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 8 14 years
Sexual activity with a child Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 9 14 years
Causing a child to engage in sexual activity Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 10 14 years
Arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 14 14 years
Sexual activity with a child family member, with penetration (Offender over 18) Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 25 14 years
Sexual activity with a child family member, with penetration (Offender under 18) Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 25 5 years
Inciting a child family member to engage in sexual activity (Offender over 18) Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 26 14 years
Inciting a child family member to engage in sexual activity (Offender under 18) Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 26 5 years
Sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 30 14 years
Causing or inciting a person with a mental disorder to engage in sexual activity Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 31 14 years
Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a person with a mental disorder impeding choice Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 32 10 years
Causing a person with a mental disorder impeding choice to watch a sexual act Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 33 10 years
Inducement, threat or deception to procure sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 34 14 years
Inducing person with mental disorder to engage in sexual activity Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 35 14 years
Engaging in sexual activity in the presence, procured by inducement, threat or deception, of a person with a mental disorder Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 36 10 years
Causing a person with a mental disorder to watch a sexual act by inducement, threat or deception Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 37 10 years
Care workers: sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 38 10 years
Care workers: inciting person with mental disorder to engage in sexual act Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 39 10 years
Paying for sexual services - penetration - of a child under 13 Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 47 Life
Paying for sexual services - penetration - of a child under 16 Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 47 14 years
Causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 48 14 years
Controlling a child prostitute Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 49 14 years
Facilitating child prostitution Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 50 14 years
Trafficking into UK for sexual exploitation Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 57 14 years
Trafficking within UK for sexual exploitation Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 58 14 years
Trafficking out of UK for sexual exploitation Sexual Offences Act 2003 s. 59 14 years

 


  • When passing a sentence of life imprisonment, the judge should make clear what the determinate sentence would have been, and then fix the specified period.
  • The specified period of a life sentence should range from between one-half to two-thirds of the determinate term. The time that the offender has spent in remand should be deducted from the specified period.
  • One-half should be the normal proportion, less time spent in custody. But in some cases, more than one-half will be appropriate.
  • If a judge specifies a higher proportion than one-half, he or she should state the reasons for doing so.
  • A ‘whole life’ minimum term sentence can be imposed for the most dangerous offenders, meaning there is no minimum period which can properly be set in that case.
  • A life sentence average tariff is 14years equvalent to a 28yr sentence. However, depending on the age of the offender and mitigating circumstances it can be half that.
  • A 30yr minimum tariff is usually specified for serious offenders usually involving multiple murders .
  • Following their release, life sentence prisoners remain 'on licence' for the rest of their lives. This means that they are subject to supervision by the Probation Service, and may be recalled to custody at any time if the terms of the licence are breached.


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