In this section:

The prosecution's role in sentencing

The prosecution acts in the public's interest. Its role is to propose a suitable sentence to the court that is fair, based on the facts of your offence and relevant legal principles.

The court does not need to accept the prosecution's position, and you are also allowed to tell the court what you think a fair sentence would be (this is known as mitigation).

Charges taken into consideration

After you have been convicted, the prosecution will inform the court of other charges they wish the court to take into consideration (also called TIC charges) for the purpose of sentencing.

Suppose you face 5 counts of theft to which you want to plead guilty. The prosecution may decide to proceed only on 2 charges, and have the rest taken into consideration during sentencing.

This means you will only be convicted and sentenced on 2 charges, instead of all 5. However, the prosecution can ask the court to consider the other 3 charges when they make submissions to the court on the appropriate sentence to be imposed.

Responding to TIC charges

If there are TIC charges, these charges will be explained to you. You will then be asked whether you admit to these charges and consent to have them taken into consideration for the purpose of sentencing.

If you refuse, the judge will not be able to take these charges into consideration. This also means that the prosecution may decide to proceed to trial against you concerning these remaining charges.

Antecedents and prosecution's submissions on sentence

The prosecution will next inform the court of your previous criminal record. This is known as antecedent records or antecedents. Your antecedent records are shown and explained to you before you are asked to confirm if they are correct.

If you do not agree, the prosecution will have to prove the contents of the criminal record through a Newton hearing.

If you agree, the prosecution will make a proposal on the sentence to be imposed by the court, also known as submissions on sentence. They may refer to precedent cases for reference. These are sentences imposed by the State Courts or the High Court for similar cases in the past.

Tip
You should listen carefully when the prosecution makes their submissions. If you think the precedent cases mentioned do not apply to your case, you should take notes and inform the court when presenting your mitigation plea.

Presenting your mitigation plea

After the prosecution has made their submissions, you will be asked to present your mitigation plea to the judge.

Your mitigation plea is important. This is because you can raise relevant mitigating factors so that the judge may understand the context of the offence and sentence you appropriately.

It is also an opportunity for you to inform the judge if you disagree with the prosecution on their proposed sentences or sentencing precedents. The prosecution will then reply after you have submitted your mitigation plea.


2021/03/02

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