Welcome to the online Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines

Welcome to the 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.

MAGISTRATES AND DISTRICT JUDGES – ONLINE DATA COLLECTION

The Sentencing Council is running a data collection exercise across a sample of magistrates’ courts in England and Wales, from 1st November 2017 to 30th March 2018, covering six offences.

If you are part of this sample, you should have received information about this already. If you are about to sentence or have just sentenced an offender, and their principal offence is in the data collection list, then please complete a form.

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.

On 5 December 2017 we will be launching a new version of the app. With the new-look app you will be able to:

  • view the guidelines in portrait as well as landscape
  • see guidelines on a single page, instead of clicking through multiple pages
  • bookmark offences without leaving the current page
  • work more easily with more than one guideline at a time, and
  • highlight content to help you keep track of information.

Other new features will include an improved fines calculator, an A-to-Z list of offences and a help section.

Updates

When we publish new guidelines, we flag changes on the MCSG Updates page of this website.

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 MCSGsupport@sentencingcouncil.gsi.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.