Reduction of sentence for early guilty pleas

03 Dec 2015 // Blog // Leesah Randall

It is incredibly important to obtain timely legal advice as soon as you have been charged with a criminal offence.

Not only can the solicitors at Mangan Ey & Associates provide you with legal advice in relation to your charges and the process we will advise you about recent court decisions and legislation changes affecting you.

On 11 March 2013 the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act was amended to state how much discount a defendant is eligible to receive on their sentence on account of their early guilty plea.  It sets out how much discount you will receive at various points of the proceedings.  If a defendant pleads guilty to any criminal offence within four weeks of their first court date, they can receive up to 40% discount on any sentence that is imposed.  Then in very general terms as the offence proceeds through the court the discount continues to reduce until the day of trial when the defendant would receive none.  This is set out very clearly in the Act and that is why we suggest that you contact us; at Mangan Ey & Associates to speak to one of our experienced Adelaide Criminal Lawyers.

On 12 November 2015 in R v Bennett the majority of the Full Court of the Supreme Court held that the defendant should receive the full 30% discount instead of the 26.67% that he did receive.  This may not sound like a lot but it meant 2 months off his head sentence.  The Honourable Justice Gray in the leading judgment stated that there is a;

...need for legal practitioners to have confidence about what discount is likely to be received on a timely plea when advising their clients as to the same.

Therefore if the sentencing Judge is to depart from the maximum penalty available they must specificall state why.  

If you are charged with any criminal offence and in particular a serious criminal offence that would attract a term of imprisonment book in to see one of our criminal lawyers.  If you are considering pleading guilty, make an appointment so we can advise you of the possible consequences as well as any sentencing discounts that may be available to you.