If the accused indicates to the court that he wishes to plead guilty, a court date will be fixed for him to do so. Prior to indicating that he would be pleading guilty, the accused and/or his lawyers may write to the AGC (known as a letter of representations) with one or more of the following requests (this list is non-exhaustive):
- For certain charges to be withdrawn (because the elements of the offence are not made out);
- For certain charges to be reduced from a more serious charge to a less serious one;
- For the Prosecution to only proceed on a smaller number of charges, and apply to have the remaining charges taken into consideration for the purposes of sentencing; or
- For the Prosecution not to object to the Defence’s position on sentence.
The Prosecution may extend to an accused person a plea offer. This would usually involve either a reduction of some or all the charges against the accused, or to proceed on a smaller number of charges instead.
Having these charges reduced to a less serious one may help an accused person avoid these mandatory minimum sentences. It is therefore important to secure as favourable a plea offer as possible before pleading guilty to the charges. It is recommended that you engage a lawyer for such matters as they would have sufficient experience to advise you if a plea offer is favourable to you or to work on your defence to ensure that you get an acceptable and reasonable conviction.
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