Time on Remand
What does remand mean?
Being ‘on remand’, or being a ‘remand prisoner’ means that you are kept in prison awaiting your trial. No decision has been made about the individual’s guilt or innocence, but it has been deemed appropriate to keep them in prison as opposed to allowing them to go home, and trusting them to return for the start of their case.
So what is time on remand?
Simply, it is the time that is spent as a remand prisoner, before your conviction (I say conviction, because if you are acquitted, time on remand is not an issue).
So what happens to that time?
It is recognised that, as a matter of fairness, if someone has spent time in prison awaiting their sentence, then this should count towards the sentence.
The relevant legislation is Criminal Justice Act 2003 s 240ZA (as amended by Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 s 108).
Who deducts the time?
This used to be done by the Judge, and he or she would make a calculation and order that those days be deducted.
In 2012, that changed, and the calculation is now done administratively by the Prison Service.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, where a life sentence is imposed, the judge must still make an order for the days to count.
So the judge doesn’t have to worry?
Well, the judge should still explain the effect of the sentence to the defendant and state that the time on remand will be deducted administratively.
Are there any restrictions?
Well, they are mostly common sense based.
A day on remand can only count towards one sentence. If an offender is serving two or more sentences, the remand day can only be counted against one of the sentences.
A day on remand can only be used once in relation to a sentence.
A day on remand does not count if the offender is detained in connection with another matter.
Brian is arrested and charged with rape. He is remanded on 1st August 2012. He is convicted on 31 December 2012. He receives 6 years.
The prison service will need to deduct 153 days from his sentence. How do they work that out?
Of his 6 year sentence (which is 2,129 days), Brian will be required to serve half (he is excluded from having a HDC tag because he is subject to notification requirements under the Sexual Offences Act 2003).
Therefore, he will serve 1,096 days. The Prison Service will then deduct 153 days from 1,096. The remaining 943 days will be the balance of the sentence which Brian must serve.
Time on a tag/curfew
This section will be added shortly.