Criminal Court Charges (CCC)
As of the 13th April 2015 there will be a new charge imposed at sentencing of an offence named the Criminal Court Charge (CCC). This charge will be imposed along with the victim surcharge and any costs that are ordered and will only be enforced on offences that occurred after the 13th April 2015 and not those that originally began before this date. The CCC is not means tested and will apply to anyone who is sentenced to an offence after the 13th April 2015.
CCC’s will only be administered against adult offenders and will be ordered by a Court against an offender following conviction of a criminal offence or for failing to comply with a community requirement, suspended sentence order or supervision requirement. This applies to cases heard in both the Magistrates and the Crown Court. The Ministry of Justice has said the CCC will “make it possible to recover some of the costs of the criminal courts” from convicted adult offenders, “reducing the burden on taxpayers”.
Legislation provides clear guidance to all Judges and Magistrates that CCC’s must not be taken into account when sentencing and that it should be ordered separately to sentence. The CCC will only be paid off when all fines, costs, compensation and victim surcharges have been paid. There is no discretion for a Judge or Magistrate to remit or lessen the CCC if for example the defendant is a first time offender or is being prosecuted on a mere technicality.
As with every rule there are exceptions. The CCC will not apply if the offender is absolutely discharged, is made subject to a hospital or guardianship order and in certain proceedings brought before the court by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
The CCC will be enforced in the same way as any other fine on conviction. The Court should make a collection order when imposing the CCC and set time to pay if it cannot be paid immediately. If the defendant is sentenced to immediate custody then time to pay should be fixed from a date when the defendant is released.
Your solicitor will be able to advise you what, if any, charges you will face if you are going to be sentenced at court.
Should you or anyone you know be facing charges before the Magistrates or Crown Court and need help then please contact our Crime Department at our Leicester office on 0116 2554855 or our Loughborough Office on 01509 610312.