Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords

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Financial circumstances orders
Powers to order statement as to offender's financial circumstances.     126. - (1) Where an individual has been convicted of an offence, the court may, before sentencing him, make a financial circumstances order with respect to him.
      (2) Where a magistrates' court has been notified in accordance with section 12(4) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 that an individual desires to plead guilty without appearing before the court, the court may make a financial circumstances order with respect to him.
      (3) In this section "a financial circumstances order" means, in relation to any individual, an order requiring him to give to the court, within such period as may be specified in the order, such a statement of his financial circumstances as the court may require.
      (4) An individual who without reasonable excuse fails to comply with a financial circumstances order shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
      (5) If an individual, in furnishing any statement in pursuance of a financial circumstances order-
    (a) makes a statement which he knows to be false in a material particular,
    (b) recklessly furnishes a statement which is false in a material particular, or
    (c) knowingly fails to disclose any material fact,
  he shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale or both.
      (6) Proceedings in respect of an offence under subsection (5) above may, notwithstanding anything in section 127(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (limitation of time), be commenced at any time within two years from the date of the commission of the offence or within six months from its first discovery by the prosecutor, whichever period expires the earlier.
Fines: general
General power of Crown Court to fine offender convicted on indictment.     127. Where a person is convicted on indictment of any offence, other than an offence for which the sentence is fixed by law or falls to be imposed under section 109(2), 110(2) or 111(2) above, the court, if not precluded from sentencing the offender by its exercise of some other power, may impose a fine instead of or in addition to dealing with him in any other way in which the court has power to deal with him, subject however to any enactment requiring the offender to be dealt with in a particular way.
Fixing of fines.     128. - (1) Before fixing the amount of any fine to be imposed on an offender who is an individual, a court shall inquire into his financial circumstances.
      (2) The amount of any fine fixed by a court shall be such as, in the opinion of the court, reflects the seriousness of the offence.
      (3) In fixing the amount of any fine to be imposed on an offender (whether an individual or other person), a court shall take into account the circumstances of the case including, among other things, the financial circumstances of the offender so far as they are known, or appear, to the court.
      (4) Subsection (3) above applies whether taking into account the financial circumstances of the offender has the effect of increasing or reducing the amount of the fine.
      (5) Where-
    (a) an offender has been convicted in his absence in pursuance of section 11 or 12 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (non-appearance of accused), or
    (b) an offender-
      (i) has failed to comply with an order under section 126(1) above, or
      (ii) has otherwise failed to co-operate with the court in its inquiry into his financial circumstances,
    and the court considers that it has insufficient information to make a proper determination of the financial circumstances of the offender, it may make such determination as it thinks fit.
Remission of fines.     129. - (1) This section applies where a court has, in fixing the amount of a fine, determined the offender's financial circumstances under section 128(5) above.
      (2) If, on subsequently inquiring into the offender's financial circumstances, the court is satisfied that had it had the results of that inquiry when sentencing the offender it would-
    (a) have fixed a smaller amount, or
    (b) not have fined him,
  it may remit the whole or any part of the fine.
      (3) Where under this section the court remits the whole or part of a fine after a term of imprisonment has been fixed under section 139 below (powers of Crown Court in relation to fines) or section 82(5) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (magistrates' powers in relation to default), it shall reduce the term by the corresponding proportion.
      (4) In calculating any reduction required by subsection (3) above, any fraction of a day shall be ignored.
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