Pleading Guilty and Sentencing in ASIC cases

Should an early plea of guilty be deemed the best outcome for your particular case, there are advantages. An early guilty plea may prevent ASIC investigators from creating a damaging paper trail.

Your co-operation and concession is advantageous. Where there are others involved in the investigation your account will be given first.

The quality and intensity of an ASIC investigation and coercive powers may lead to other findings.

Prosecutors regard an early plea highly and charges can be negotiated when there is co-operation.

Further negotiation is possible where charges under the Corporations Act carry lesser penalties than those under the Crimes Act (VIC).

As prosecutions for Commonwealth offences are conducted in State Courts, exercising federal jurisdiction, sentencing in ASIC cases can vary and is dependent on many factors.

Mitigatory factors such as prospects of rehabilitation, character or community standing will not override the principal sentencing factor of general deterrence.

If you are charged as a continuing criminal enterprise offender, i.e. if the charges amount to over $50,000, you are liable to be sentenced much higher.

Case law, R v Murray [2011], suggests that totality is still an issue to be considered.

Sentencing for offences such as insider trading damage the integrity of the entire market, therefore sentencing reflects ASIC responsibilities to instil and protect the confidence of the investing public.

A conviction for offences resulting in a disqualification from managing a corporation is considered a penalty and will be taken into account upon sentencing.

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