A mitigation plea is an opportunity for you to explain to the judge the circumstances of the offence, so that the judge can arrive at an appropriate sentence.
What is a mitigation plea
A mitigation plea is an oral or written statement containing information about your personal circumstances of the crime that may result in a lower sentence.
The purpose of your mitigation plea is for you to convey relevant mitigating factors so that the judge can arrive at a fair and just sentence. These are reasons or facts that seek to persuade the judge why your punishment should be lessened.
Whether you plead guilty or are found guilty after the trial, you have a right to make a plea in mitigation before sentence is passed.
If you pleaded guilty, you should take special care against qualifying your plea of guilt. A plea of guilt is qualified when you raise facts in your mitigation plea which contradict those stated in the statement of facts (SOF). When this happens, the judge will reject your plea of guilt and you will have to proceed to trial.
How to prepare a mitigation plea
Your mitigation plea should include mitigating factors. You may refer to the following list for common examples of mitigating factors. This list is not exhaustive, and you should only consider factors which apply to your situation.
A lawyer would be in the best position to advise you on the mitigating factors that are relevant to your case.