Ask for a Crown Court sentence to be reviewed

You can ask for someone’s Crown Court sentence to be reviewed if you think it’s too low.

The Attorney General’s Office can review very low sentences given by the Crown Court in England and Wales if they’re asked to.

Only certain types of case can be reviewed, including:

  • murder
  • rape
  • robbery
  • some child sex crimes and child cruelty
  • some serious fraud
  • some serious drug crimes
  • some terror-related offences
  • some crimes committed because of the victim’s race or religion
  • stalking that caused the victim severe distress or to fear violence
  • harassment that caused the victim to fear violence
  • controlling and coercive behaviour

Anyone can ask for a sentence to be reviewed - you do not have to be involved in the case.

Only one person needs to ask for a sentence to be reviewed.

How to get a sentence reviewed

You must submit your request to the Attorney General’s Office within 28 calendar days of the sentencing.

Provide as much information as you can about the case, like the:

  • name of the person who got the sentence
  • date the sentence was given
  • court where the case was held
  • crime committed

Attorney General’s Office
Email: uls.referrals@attorneygeneral.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 7271 2492
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
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The Attorney General’s Office will review your request and decide whether to send it to the Court of Appeal, who can make a decision about the sentence.

Submit your request as early as possible so that the Attorney General’s Office has enough time to review it.

The latest they can send the case to the Court of Appeal is 5pm on the last working day within 28 calendar days of the sentencing.

Example

28 calendar days after the sentencing is Friday 1 January (a bank holiday).

The Attorney General’s Office needs enough time to review your request by Thursday 31 December (the last working day within the 28 calendar days).

5pm on the Thursday is the latest they can send the case to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal may decide that the sentence:

  • should stay the same
  • is unreasonably low (called ‘unduly lenient’) and may increase it
  • refuse to hear the case

Even if a case is passed on to the Court of Appeal it may not change the sentence.