What can you do before you decide to plead guilty or claim trial?
- You may make a written appeal (also known as representations) to the Prosecution (i.e. the Public Prosecutor / Attorney-General’s Chambers or the Police or other enforcement agencies which is prosecuting the charge against you Court) to ask them to take a more lenient course of action against you or to take a less serious view of your case. This is sometimes referred to as plea bargaining or plea negotiation.
- Although you may make this appeal on your own, you may wish to consult a lawyer to obtain a clearer understanding of the facts and circumstances which may be relevant to the Prosecution’s consideration of your appeal.
- The Prosecution will consider the reasons for your appeal and then decide whether or not these reasons are of merit and deserving of your request being granted.
- You may benefit from engaging a lawyer to prepare the appeal on your behalf as the the facts and circumstances which are relevant for the Prosecution’s consideration may include issues of law and government policy which you may not be fully prepared to deal with on your own.
- The Prosecution has the discretion to decide on the nature and course of the prosecutorial action that will be taken against you, including the following:
- Whether or not to charge you.
- What type of charge to prefer against you.
- How many charges to prefer against you.
- After the Prosecution has made its final decision on the nature and course of the prosecutorial action that will be taken against, you will ultimately need to decide on whether you wish to plead guilty or claim trial to the charge.