Pleading guilty means that you accept the offence for which you have been charged with as per your Court Attendance Notice (CAN).
The first time you attend court is referred as a ‘mention’. If you plead guilty, your matter is likely to finalise on that day and you will be sentenced for the offence.
Before you go to court for the mention, you should consider the following:
- If you accept the elements of the offence only and not the facts
- The maximum penalty the court can impose
- Your criminal or driving history and any offences that you have previously been convicted of
- What explanation, if any, you have for the offence or the circumstances of the offence
- What you would like the court to take into account when sentencing, for example- if it is a driving offence and your licence will be disqualified, what will impact, if any, will it have on your family or employment etc
- Who can write a character reference for you
- What documents you can rely on for sentencing
- Whether you have completed any relevant programs
Magistrates have the power to find you guilty but not record a criminal conviction/record. This is commonly known as a ‘section 10 dismissal’. A section 10 dismissal can either be instant or come after a period of good behaviour bond.
If the sentence you are given is too harsh or inappropriate, you may be able to appeal the decision to the District Court within 28 days of the decision.
Our specialist criminal defence team is vastly experienced advocates and prepare your case to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
If you are going to court for any of the above, call us today on (02) 9152 8619 to arrange a free first conference with one of our experienced senior defence lawyers.