Criminal Court Costs and Recovery of the Same

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Types of Criminal Court Costs Orders

Criminal Court Costs are usually awarded as per the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985. Costs orders can be made by the Criminal Court where the Defendants plead guilty as per section 12 of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980.

Criminal Court Costs Orders made in favour of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will be limited to reasonably incurred costs of carrying out the prosecution. It is important to note that prosecution costs will be ordered based on the Defendant’s means and that the Defendant will not be ordered to pay costs that could not be paid within a one year period.

Furthermore, it should also be noted that limitations apply to costs applications and Orders for these types of costs. For example, no costs should be awarded or ordered where there is a fine imposed of five pounds or less. If a person under the age of 17 is convicted of an offence, the Court cannot award costs greater than the fine which is imposed.

Whilst there are many different types of criminal costs orders that can be made under this act and its various clauses, this article will focus on Costs Orders made against the CPS where unnecessary action has been brought against a Defendant. The costs incurred in the Defence will usually be recoverable from the CPR through the government central fund.


Criminal Court Costs Orders made against the CPS

Under Section 19 or 19A of the above mentioned act, three requirements must be present when an application is made for costs against the CPS:

  1. The applicant should be a party to the proceedings;
  2. There must have been an unnecessary or improper act or omission
  3. Costs must have been incurred as a result of that act or omission

Criminal Court Costs Orders can be made against the CPS even where the Defendant is legally aided.

The recovery of defence costs following acquittal in the crown court is restricted as per Section 16A of the Prosecution of Offenders Act 1985.


How Can ARC Costs Assist?


ARC Costs are specialist Cost Draftsman and Costs Lawyers dealing with various different types of cases where costs orders are being sought or have been awarded.

We can assist with application to the Court for costs orders in criminal cases, and where a costs order has been made in your favour, and against the CPS, we can assist in the recovery of those costs by preparing a Bill of Costsnegotiating with the CPS and taking your costs issue through the detailed assessment process until you recover your costs.

For a no-obligation discussion, you may contact us at or 01204 397302. Alternatively, you may complete our online query form, and we will contact you to discuss your costs query further.

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01204 397302

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