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Penalties for Particular Crimes

Parliament primarily makes laws in the United Kingdom, which is the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The Prime Minister is the leader of the executive branch of government. The judiciary is responsible for interpreting laws and applying the law to cases. Law enforcement is done by police, customs officers, probation officers, and traffic wardens.

There are many different types of behavior as crimes, including burglary, defamation, and trafficking people or drugs across international borders. 

Here we will talk about these crimes and their penalties if caught under any of them.

Crimes and The Penalties

You should first know there are 3 main types of criminal offences:

  1. Summary Offences 
  2. Either Way Offences 
  3. Indictable Only Offences 

Summary Offences

Summary offences are the most common criminal offences in the UK. These are usually considered petty crimes and are punishable by a fine or a maximum of six months in prison.

In many cases, summary offences can be committed accidentally or through negligence. Suppose you are driving and hit another vehicle while not paying attention. This could be considered a summary offence.

In the UK, they are punishable by up to six months behind bars or a fine.

If you commit an offence that is considered a summary and not one of the more serious offences, you may still face fines and/or imprisonment.

Either Way Offences

Either way, offences can be dealt with in either a magistrates’ or crown court. The magistrates’ court can impose any sentence of up to 6 months’ imprisonment and fines up to £5,000.

The Crown Court has the power to commit you for custody if it is satisfied that you have committed an offence punishable with a term of imprisonment of over six months but not exceeding twelve months or an offence under section 2(2), which is triable either way provided it would result in an increased maximum sentence if tried summarily.

Indictable Only Offences 

An indictable-only offence is a more serious type of crime than a summary offence. Indictable-only offences are heard in the Crown Court and can result in up to 14 years in jail.

For example, if you steal someone else’s car and cause damage worth over £5,000, you could be charged with robbery or theft from motor vehicle offences (both indictable only).


Theft is taking another person’s property without that person’s consent, intending to deprive them of it permanently. It’s a summary offence, so the maximum penalty for theft is six months in prison or a fine. 

The only anomaly to this rule is if you’re caught stealing from someone who has offered you money in exchange for your goods (for example: if you were given $100 by your employer and stole $100 worth of work). In this case, your sentence will be up to 10 years behind bars.


The penalties for fraud in the UK are severe, and you should be aware of them before committing any fraud.

If you are convicted of a fraud offence, you will face up to a decade in prison, a fine of up to £5,000 (US$6,500), or both. If you are convicted of multiple offences, it is possible that your sentence could be increased by up to 25%.

You may also receive an unlimited fine if you were found guilty of submitting a false claim or statement under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The maximum fine for this offence is £350,000 (US$450,000) per offence.

There are other financial penalties available under the Fraud Act 2006:

  • A maximum fine of £5,000 (US$6,500) for each fraudulent transaction;
  • A minimum fine of £1,000 (US$1,300) for each fraudulent transaction; and
  • A minimum fine of £100 (US$130) for each fraudulent transaction with intent to gain advantage from another person’s loss or injury.

Possession of Controlled Drugs

You may be charged with possession of controlled drugs if you have three or more plants in your possession and they are over 1.2 metres tall or any class of drug that can be used to make cannabis resin (hash). If you are caught with more than 500g of any other drug class, it will automatically be classified as Class A unless you have a prescription from your doctor.

You could also face an extra penalty for supplying drugs to someone else under 18 years old. If convicted for supplying them, this could lead to up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine

Possession of an Offensive Weapon

Penalties for possessing an offensive weapon are up to five years of jail time, an unlimited fine and/or community service. The maximum sentence is increased if the defendant has been previously convicted of any other crime that requires registration with the police or if they have been sentenced by the court to imprisonment before this type of offence was committed.

Offensive weapons include:

  • Knife (including switchblade knives) with a blade length exceeding 4 inches but not exceeding 7 inches
  • Pistol
  • Shotgun (including smoothbore).

Dangerous Driving

Dangerous driving is a consequential offence that can result in penalties of up to six points on your license and/or a fine. Depending on your conviction circumstances, you will also be barred from driving for a while.

The following are examples of dangerous driving:

  • Driving at speeds over 80 mph in a 50 mph zone or exceeding 100 mph for more than 10 seconds.
  • Failing to stop when required by law, such as at a stop sign or red light. This can also include running through one without stopping until you reach another point where it’s safe to do so (e.g., when there’s no one else around).

If you’re convicted of this offence, it may be difficult for future employers to find someone who has been licensed properly; if they were unaware before working with themselves, they might not want them anymore after learning about this.


The penalties for criminal offences depend on the crime you have been found guilty of. If you have been blamed for an offence, your sentence will depend on several factors, such as how old you are and whether or not there was alcohol involved during the incident.

We here at centralchamberslaw.com have the best and most experienced lawyers to get you out of trouble.