There are two main ways a criminal matter is usually dealt with. This is either by entering a plea of guilty or not guilty. There are other ways a criminal matter may be dealt with, for example under the Mental Health (Forensics Provisions) Act 1990, but this all depends upon your personal circumstances. If you face a number of charges, you may plead differently to each charge.
Sometimes, you may agree that you committed an offence but not necessarily with what the police said you did. You may have reason to dispute what the Police say in order to lower the objective seriousness of the offence. This may mean we need to make representations to the police to come to an agreed set of facts or, if they do not agree, have a disputed facts hearing. This is all critical as it goes to the objective seriousness of each offence. This will then be the benchmark for how severe the penalties at sentencing will be.
Our criminal lawyers will work closely with you to determine what actually happened. This sets up the foundation for a strong defence or strong application for leniency.
Depending on your plea, a matter will inevitably proceed to a contested hearing or a sentencing hearing. On occasion, a matter can go through the former to the latter.
If a person is found guilty of an offence, whether by admitting to it or were found guilty, they will eventually be sentenced.
Entering a plea of guilty is a viable option. If a plea of guilty is entered at the earliest opportunity you will be entitled to a 25% discount at sentencing. The reason the Court provides this discount is because the Criminal Justice System is designed ultimately to rehabilitate. It is a way of expressing remorse and maturity which the Courts consider favourably. The Court also considers:
- your personal background;
- any mitigating circumstances when committing the offence;
- your criminal history;
- your good character;
- General and Specific Deterrence; and
- anything else the Court considers important.
We work closely with you to understand every detail of your matter. This allows us to put the best case forward to submit to the Court that you, despite committing an offence, deserve a second chance or, at least, the lightest possible sentence.
At RMB Lawyers we are committed to getting you the best outcome. In certain circumstances the Police may lay charges against you which you deny ever happened or the Police cannot prove. In those circumstances, it would be appropriate to plead not guilty and have a hearing. This means that the Court will decide if the charges can be proven and whether or not you are guilty of the offence(s).
There is a lot that goes into a contested hearing. Our experienced lawyers know exactly how to tackle it and the best way is through teamwork. We have the resources to be anywhere and we all work together for you. Teamwork, more importantly, includes working with you. We look to the finest details of the case outline and we need to work with you to get those details. Your trust and confidence is key to putting the right defence together for a hearing.