Sentencing Guidelines for use in Magistrates’ Courts
- Data collection in magistrates’ courts
- Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines
- Using the sentencing guidelines on the HMCTS laptops
- Sentencing guidelines app for use offline
- Making temporary copies of guidelines
- Help and support
The Sentencing Council ran a data collection across all magistrates’ courts in England and Wales from 4 January to 7 May 2021, covering four offences: common assault, assault on an emergency worker, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage. This exercise has now been completed.
The Council would like to thank magistrates very much for the time and effort you have put into completing the online forms. We are very pleased with the number of responses we have received. The data you provided will be analysed with a view to understanding how these guidelines are working and where we may need to make changes to them in the future. In this way, your feedback directly shapes our guidelines and is vital to ensuring they achieve their aims.
You will find on these pages all the Sentencing Council guidelines and other materials magistrates need when sentencing offenders in court. You can search for any of the guidelines on the Search Offences page (for quick access from anywhere in the site, select the magnifying glass on the left-hand menu). The overarching guidelines, explanatory materials and calculators, as well as other useful documents and links, are also available on the left-hand menu.
From April 2021, HMCTS will be providing laptops for use in magistrates’ courts. Watch this short video or read this guide to find out how to use the online sentencing guidelines using the HMCTS laptops.
If you do not have access to wifi, the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines (MCSG) are also available as an app. You can access the MCSG app via the Bench Solution iPads or download it to your own iPad free of charge from the App Store.
You can make temporary print and pdf copies of offence specific and overarching guidelines from the website. Click on the print icon on the top right of the required page. In the print dialogue box, select either your local printer or Adobe pdf/print to pdf. To include “drop box” text such as Applicability or Band Ranges in your copy, open the drop box before printing.
When we publish new guidelines, we flag changes on the MCSG Updates page of this website and in the app. New guidelines are added to the list of offences in purple to clearly distinguish between those guidelines that have yet to come into force and those already in force. New guidelines are automatically added to the MCSG app.
If there is additional material you need, or you have trouble finding something, please do let us know by emailing MCSGsupport@sentencingcouncil.gov.uk. We aim to respond to emails within 24 hours. If you need help urgently, please call 020 7071 5793. This site will continue to grow and have new content and tools added. If you have suggestions of things that would be useful or that you need when sentencing, please do get in touch.