Members Area
    
 
   

CRIMINAL LAW

Guilty Plea - Do I get a Discount?

 Select Topic
 
 Related Topics
Feedback/Reviews/Blogs


Sentencing – Do I get a discount for pleading guilty?

As a matter of principle, Judges are not allowed to impose a heavier penalty just because an accused person has pleaded not guilty but then been found guilty.

But Judges are entitled to a give a substantial discount for a plea of guilty, and particularly an early plea of guilty.

Prosecutors and the police always have to act responsibly and not "overcharge" in order to be able to negotiate an early plea of guilty to a lesser charge.  So they should not charge a person with reckless driving in order to extract an early plea of guilty to, say, careless driving.   Good defence lawyers will always be ready to point out to the Court that an overkill situation should be frowned upon by the Courts.

Until fairly recently, we staggered along on a case-by-case basis and no one ever knew whether they would be entitled to a 20% discount or even up to a 50% discount.  It was decided on a case-by-case basis.

Now, in the recent case of R v Hessell [2009] NZCA 450, the Court of Appeal has released a guideline judgment on guilty plea discounts. The Court of Appeal recognised the need to resolve the conflict in approach between the earlier Court of Appeal authorities and more recent ones as to how sentencing Judges should recognise guilty pleas.  

The Court then proceeded to set out a clear approach for the future in order to allow defence lawyers to advise their clients properly with as to the favourable consequences to them of a plea of guilty, and in particular an early plea of guilty.

These guidelines took eff

.....The first part of this topic has been displayed free of charge. Join up for $45 to have access to this and all other topics!


Feedback/Reviews/Blogs
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Criminal Law
"Easy to read and it suited what I was looking for. Evan . . . . Ohope"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Criminal Law
"Well set out and helpful. I now know just how far you can, and cannot go. I was amazed that you cannot "strike" someone if you are only defending yourself as opposed to your property. Good stuff Netlaw! James W. Auckland May 2006"
"Yes . . . interesting. Trev, Bay of Plenty. April 2006"
Feedback/Blogs/Reviews from related topic: Criminal Law
"I was looking round Google to find something about representing myself and I found this and a number of your topics SPOT ON. Thanks. This one was great! Jon F. Auckland - May 2007"
"Thanks Netlaw. Rolf - Auckland"
 Select Topic
 
 Related Topics