You can ask for someone’s Crown Court sentence to be reviewed if you think it’s too low.
The Attorney General can review very low sentences given by the Crown Court in England and Wales if he’s asked to.
Only certain types of case can be reviewed, including:
- some child sex crimes and child cruelty
- some serious fraud
- some serious drug crimes
- crimes committed because of the victim’s race or religion
Anyone can ask for a sentence to be reviewed - they don’t have to be involved in the case.
Only 1 person needs to ask for a sentence to be reviewed.
How to complain
Contact the Attorney General’s Office as soon as possible after the sentence is passed. The time limit for making a complaint is 28 days after sentencing.
Provide as much information as you can about the case, eg the:
- name of the person who got the sentence
- date the sentence was given
- court where the case was held
- crime committed
The Attorney General has 28 days to review a sentence and make a decision. Once the case has been reviewed, it may be sent 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.