Sentencing Guidelines for use in the Magistrates' Court

Changes to the website – November 2018

From 8 November, you will notice some changes to the Magistrates’ Court sentencing guidelines on the Council’s website:

  • Overarching guidelines will be available as web pages rather than in pdf.
  • Users will be able to make temporary print and pdf copies of offence specific and overarching guidelines.
  • Lists and tables will be easier to read, following improvements to the design.

We have set out more information in this document, and ask that you help us by sharing it with your colleagues or letting them know about the changes.

We expect to make similar changes to the MCSG app by the end of the month.

Please note that the single-pdf version of the  MCSG will be withdrawn from the Council’s website on 30 November 2018.

Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines

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 using ‘Search offences’ on the left-hand side bar.

The explanatory material and fines calculator, as well as other useful documents and links, are also available on the left-hand side bar.

Sentencing guidelines app for use offline

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.


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 using colour coding 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.

Provision of guidelines in alternative formats

While not all magistrates have access to iPads and not all courts have wi-fi, we are continuing to provide the guidelines in pdf format.

Help and support

If there is additional material you need, or you have trouble finding something, please do let us know by emailing 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.