One role of a criminal defence solicitor is to carefully peruse the evidence in a case and where appropriate negotiate with police on behalf of the client. Just because police make allegations against a person does not necessarily mean that there is sufficient evidence to prove the charge alleged in court or that the person has in fact been charged with the correct offence. In some instances the Brief of Evidence or Facts Sheet can have such deficiencies that the police can be compelled by written and verbal representations to either withdraw the charge or accept a plea of guilty to a lesser offence.
Successful negotiations reduce costs for clients and save them the stress and uncertainty associated with defended hearings.
Typically examples of charge negotiations include:
- A solicitor making representations to police and the prosecution to withdraw the charges if it is clear that the prosecution evidence is insufficient to sustain a conviction,
- If a person is facing multiple charges, the solicitor can organise with the prosecution to have the client plead guilty to some charges on the basis some of the other charges are withdrawn,
- If the charge is a serious charge, negotiations can result in the prosecution offering to withdraw a serious charge for a plea of guilty to less serious charge,
- Persuading the prosecution not to elect to take a matter to the District Court but rather have it dealt in the Local Court,
- Negotiations with the prosecution to agree on a set of agreed facts which are more favourable to the client before the facts are tendered to the court for sentencing.
- Charges placed on a “Form 1”: These are a list of charges prepared by the prosecution, with which you have been charged, but not convicted. They can be taken into account when dealing with you for the principal offence.
Plea bargaining and making representations to Police can be a complicated process.
At LY Lawyers, our solicitors are experts in criminal law and will pursue every avenue available to us including entering into negotiations with the Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions to secure a better result for our client.