Magistrates (in a magistrates’ court) or a judge (in the Crown Court) decide on an offender’s sentence. The magistrate or judge must consider the need to:
- Punish a criminal
- Protect the public
- Change the offender’s behaviour
- Get them to make amends for their crime
- Cut crime in the future
What are the different types of court sentence?
When a court finds someone guilty of a crime, the most common sentences are:
- A court fine.
- A community sentence – for example, a curfew, unpaid work or going on a drug treatment programme.
- A prison sentence.
- A suspended prison sentence. Where the offender serves their sentence in the community – though if they commit another crime, they will usually be sent to prison.