Sentence reductions for a guilty plea

Offenders who plead guilty to an offence will receive a discount to their sentence. If a guilty plea is entered at the first available opportunity (which will usually be considered to be at their first court appearance) then a reduction of one-third will be applied to the sentence.
Thereafter, the available sentence reduction for a guilty plea takes a sliding scale from a maximum of one-quarter (where the defendant enters a guilty plea after the first opportunity but before the first day of the trial) to one-tenth (if the defendant waits until the first day of their trial to enter a guilty plea).
According to the Crown Prosecution Service’s annual report, 78% of cases in the magistrates’ courts and 71% of cases in the Crown Court were resolved by a guilty plea in 2018-19.
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