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It is now generally accepted that the legal tactic of plea bargaining by defence lawyers is used either as a sword or shield.
The plea bargaining process is used for the purpose of entering a plea of guilty to a lesser charge; or to find some common ground as to an agreed set of facts; or negating opposition to a sentencing submission by the Police Prosecutor.
There are a number of principles relevant to plea bargaining and the list below is not meant to be exhaustive.
1. The prosecutor alone is responsible for deciding the charges against the defendant.
How Prime Lawyers can help - To rectify the power imbalance in this situation you need a experienced advocate advancing your position with a clear and concise technique.
2. That the defendant must decide whether to plead guilty to the charge preferred by the prosecutor, and this decision must be made freely without inducement from the bench or prosecutor. And although the advice from your legal representative will be useful the decision ultimately rests with the defendant.
How Prime Lawyers can help - Although this decision rests with the defendant, pertinent legal advice has to be given so an informed decision can be made by the defendant. This entails, more than just a regurgitation of the police facts.
3. That the Magistrate or Judge alone has responsibility for the sentencing of the defendant. This will be based on the facts presented to the court.
How Prime Lawyers can help – Our criminal lawyers thoroughly prepare for Court to ensure the defendant is put in the best light before the court.
4. The outcome of the plea bargain.
How Prime Lawyers can help – Our criminal lawyers have a thorough understanding of the sentencing options available to the court based on the agreed factual situation.
5. Where does this sit with the appellant jurisdiction.
How Prime Lawyers can help – If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Court, our criminal lawyers frequently represent clients in higher courts to overturn the decision o the lower court.
The last principle holds most weight in the dynamic of plea bargaining, most pleas are by way of representation to the police Prosecutor and sometimes with the officer in charge. Keeping a record of the arrangement made between parties will offer some guidance to the appeals court as to why pleas of guilty were entered into by the defendant.
However the plea bargaining process is fraught with danger, information given; can give away your defence and put the prosecution on notice. This is why a solicitor who is familiar with the process is vital to you mitigating your situation with the Police Prosecutor. Our criminal lawyers are familiar with this process and will advise you through this maze to achieve the best result given your situation.
Feel free to contact our criminal lawyers on (02) 9521 2222. You can also send your enquiry online now and we will call you shortly.