SHOULD I ENGAGE A CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER TO HANDLE MY PLEA NEGOTIATIONS?
Discussions and negotiations between criminal defence lawyers and prosecuting officers take place regularly and common examples of these include negotiations carried out to facilitate an understanding where you agree to plead guilty to an amended or reduced charge or a fewer number of charges in exchange for the Prosecution agreeing to request for a lower range of sentence being imposed by the Court, or where you agree to plead guilty to your charge on the basis that the Prosecution agrees to accept your argument that you had a smaller role in the offence compared to other co-accused persons involved in the same case.
These discussions and negotiations are carried out on a without prejudice and can take place through an exchange of written representations and communication between the Defence and Prosecution or face-to-face discussions under the Criminal Case Management System (CCMS) protocol.
In addition, the Criminal Case Resolution (CCR) process also allows the Defence and Prosecution to have a formal negotiation facilitated by a senior Judge appearing as a neutral mediator to negotiate and obtain a rough indication of the possible sentence – the aim of this is to enable you to make a more well-informed decision as to whether or not you should plead guilty to the charge.
Whilst it is ultimately your decision whether to enter into a plea bargain or to claim trial, you are strongly encouraged to be represented by a competent and capable criminal defence lawyer during the plea negotiations process so that you will be properly advised on whether the Prosecution’s proposal or offer is reasonable and also because some aspects of the plea bargaining process can only be conducted with the assistance of a lawyer e.g. CCMS discussions and CCR conferences can only take place between defence lawyers and prosecuting officers and you won’t be entitled to participate in the process if you are unrepresented.
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If you would like to understand more about this subject and how the issues discussed in this article may affect you, get in touch with our lawyers today.
Typical fee structure
- Basic - $4,500
- Intermediate - $6,500
- Advanced - $8,500
“I just want to send this note before the hearing tomorrow. Regardless of the outcome, I am very thankful to both of you for everything you’ve done for me. Especially to Mr. Wong, I’ll never forget how you took on my appeal case so quickly, at the juncture when I was mentally and emotionally distraught after my sentencing. The word “gratitude” is an understatement.”