What are TICs?
TICs are offences to be taken into consideration at the time of sentencing.
When would I be asked about them?
If you have pleaded guilty to an offence or are expected to, or are due to be sentenced, you can admit other offences and ask for them to be taken into consideration upon sentence.
The police may also approach you and ask if you want to accept any TICs. It is crucial that you obtain legal advice as acceptance of TICs does have consequences and there are risks.
You will be spoken to under caution, if you do admit other offences and the police and prosecution agree, a schedule of the offences will be prepared and placed before the court.
It is then for the court to decide whether or not to take them into account.
On the positive side, the court will consider the fact that you have assisted the police and shown a genuine desire to “wipe the slate clean”. Any consideration taken of the TICs will result in a difference to your sentence, but this may not be as much as if you were sentenced separately for that offence.
On the negative side, the acceptance of TICs may result in a greatly increased sentence as they are treated as an aggravating feature, especially if there is a large number. The total sentence imposed has to reflect all of the offending behaviour. You can also be ordered to pay compensation in relation to TICs. Also, you will never know if those offences would ever have been linked to you, so you may be admitting more than could ever be proved. This is in effect a simple trade off, peace of mind versus looking over your shoulder wondering whether the past will catch up with you.
If you wish to wipe the slate clean it is important to ensure that all outstanding offences are admitted, otherwise you may not receive any discount if a future prosecution is brought. In the recent case of Murray
“It seems to us however that this appellant must have made a conscious choice not to disclose the July 2014 matter in the hope that it would go undetected. In those circumstances he cannot now claim to be sentenced as if both matters should have been dealt with together in January 2015. To permit that to happen at this stage would be unjust to the public interest in giving the appellant an undeserved, uncovenanted bonus. This case therefore is a salutary illustration of the benefits which can accrue to offenders from making voluntary admissions of additional offending and the risks that they run if they choose not to do so.”
What sort of offences can be considered?
Similar offending is likely to be accepted as a TIC. An offence is unlikely to be accepted as a TIC if –
- it is an admission to an offence more serious than the one you have pleaded guilty to;
- it is an offence that would attract disqualification or penalty points on conviction;
- if it is an offence committed in breach of an earlier sentence;
- where it is an offence completely dissimilar to the one charged; or
- where it is a specified offence when the charged offence is not.
If I admit further offences will they definitely be TICs?
Not necessarily. Admissions in the circumstances above may lead to further criminal charges being brought against you, this is why legal advice is important.