How to use these sentencing guidelines

To find an offence-specific guideline, you can do any of the following:

  • enter the name of the offence in the box below,
  • use the offence-type drop-down list to select a related group of offences such as sexual offences or public order offences,
  • search for keywords, eg bribery, knives, sex,
  • enter the name of the relevant Act and/or section, eg Explosive Substances Act 1883, Public Order Act, section 5, or
  • scroll down the A to Z list of offences (guidelines not yet in effect are listed in purple).

To find an overarching guideline:

  • on this page, click on the heading Overarching Guidelines,
  • on any page, click the icon in the left-hand menu.

Right click to open a guideline in a new tab.

To print or create a temporary pdf of any guideline:

  • with the page open, click on , then select your printer or "Adobe PDF" to create a pdf. To include hidden content, open drop-down box before printing. Do not retain these copies. Only the online version of a guideline is guaranteed to be up to date.

  • Animal cruelty

    Animal Welfare Act 2006, s.4 (unnecessary suffering), s.5 (mutilation), s.6 (docking of dogs’ tails), s.7 (administration of poisons etc), s.8 (fighting etc)
    AW06029,AW06041,AW06043,AW06044,AW06045,AW06046,AW06046B,AW06048,AW06049,AW06050,AW06051,AW06052,AW06053,AW06054,AW06055,AW06056,AW06057,AW06058,AW06059,AW06060,AW06061,s4,s5,s6,s7,s8,section 4,section 5,section 6,section 7,section 8,