What is a plea of guilty?
plea of guilty is an acknowledgement
that you are guilty of the offence
alleged against you by the
prosecution, and in particular it is
an admission that each of the elements
of the offence exist without the
prosecution having to prove that each
element exists. e.g. a plea of guilty
to a charge of driving whilst
suspended would be an admission that
you were driving a motor vehicle on a
road in Victoria on the date alleged,
at a time when your authorisation to
drive a motor vehicle was suspended,
and that you knew or ought reasonably
have known that you were suspended at
the time you were driving.
Why should I plead guilty?
advise my clients to plead guilty if
doing so is more advantageous to them
than pleading not guilty. Sometimes
you should plead guilty if:
(a) the chance of success is low,
doing so can result in a significantly
lower penalty, or
if doing so is likely to avoid
significantly increasing the penalty.
How will I know when I should plead
Your lawyer will usually have to see
several documents before advising you
whether or not you have any defence: the
charge and summons, the police brief,
and the court file. Once you know what
defences are available, you can then do
a cost/risk analysis to decide whether
it is worthwhile to you to invest your
time and money fighting for an
acquittal, or whether it is more
beneficial to plead guilty. Pleading
guilty is usually the option you choose
as a last resort.
Do you represent people who plead
If you wish to plead guilty I am able
to represent you at court to ensure
that you get the lowest penalty
possible, including reducing or
avoiding licence loss, avoiding jail,
having the amount of fines reduced or
getting time to pay, and to avoid
convictions being recorded against
If I plead guilty, can I save my
Sometimes you can. Generally you will
not be able to save your licence if you
plead guilty to drink driving offences
over 0.07% (or less than that in some
cases), or most cases of speeding more
than 25kmh over the limit, or to
dangerous driving charges.
When can I plead guilty?
You can plead guilty on almost any day
that the court is sitting provided that
you have arranged with the court and the
police for the plea to be given on that
day. Usually 24 hours notice is
required. You do not have to plead
guilty on the court date listed on your
charge and summons.
What does it cost to get
representation on a plea of guilty?
From about $750 for a plea which does
not involve much negotiation or
research, up to $2000 for a case
involving negotiations with the
prosecution and significant skill and
attention spent on checking for defences
and/or developing and implementing
strategies to avoid prison or licence
loss. Most cases will cost less than
$1100 in total for a plea of guilty.
following pages may help you: