Criminal Court Charges

Courtroom

A statutory instrument to introduce criminal court charges was  laid before Parliament on 23 March 2015. The timing meant that there was little or no opportunity for the Regulations to be debated in Parliament. This absence of sufficient scrutiny was rightly criticised by the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee in a report published on 9 June 2015.

The Bar Council was very concerned that the previous Coalition Government decided to introduce this proposal without, as far as it was aware, any formal public consultation. The new Regulations are problematic for a number of reasons detailed in our parliamentary briefing.

The criminal courts charge requires defendants convicted by a magistrates' court for a summary offence on a guilty plea to be charged £150. Conviction in the magistrates' court at trial of a summary offence incur a £520 charge.

Those convicted of an either-way offence at a magistrates' court trial are charged £1,000.

In the Crown court, a conviction on a guilty plea is charged at £900, while those convicted at a trial on indictment will have to pay £1,200.

Magistrates and judges have no discretion over the charges which must be ordered irrespective of the financial or personal circumstances of those convicted.