PLEA OF GUILTY HEARING
A Plea of guilty (sometimes called a plea in mitigation) is where your criminal defence lawyer talks to the Judge on your behalf. The positive aim of a plea hearing is to place your offending into context and explain how it came about.
Obviously the more positive things that can be put on your behalf the better result you will get for a plea hearing. If you have been found guilty after pleading not guilty you will still have a “plea hearing”.
At any plea hearing it is important to get all the necessary documents and materials together to present to the Judge, such as character references and expert reports (doctors, psychologists, etc.)
Well before the plea date we will have worked out how you are putting your case to the Judge. You need to know what is being said on your behalf so that you can decide if there are other issues that should be raised with the Judge.
There are many issues that can be put on a plea for people. Experienced lawyers know what are good topics to pursue and which topics are ones that will annoy the bench. There is a lot of case law surrounding pleas of guilty and in the higher Courts other cases are referred to a lot on pleas of guilty.
A plea hearing is when we may also call people who know you well to give evidence. They can talk about your positive characteristics.
It is incredibly important to put offending into a context and to explain that the person who is pleading guilty has positive attributes and/or significant reasons that have contributed to the offending.