What is a mitigation plea?
- After you’re found guilty and convicted of an offence, the Court will review what type and amount of sentence to impose against you.
- Before the Court decides on and imposes the sentence, you’ll have an opportunity to inform the Court of any mitigating factors which you have.
- Mitigating factors are facts, circumstances and reasons which you feel would justify a more lenient or less serious sentence imposed against you e.g. information and facts relating to your own personal circumstances, information and facts relating to the circumstances surrounding how the offence was committed or occurred.
- The plea in mitigation (also known as the mitigation plea) is the written or oral presentation to the Court of your mitigation factors.
- This is presented by your Criminal Defence lawyer or by yourself if you’re not legally represented.
- A mitigation plea prepared by a Criminal Defence lawyer is in English. However, an interpreter can be provided to translate your mitigation plea for the Court’s understanding if you’re represented by a Criminal Defence lawyer and you want to orally present your mitigation plea in another language.
What does a mitigation plea contain?
- As the purpose of a mitigation plea is to persuade the Court to impose a lower, less severe or more appropriate punishment (in your view) for the offence committed, it should aim to highlight the following types of information for the Court’s review:
- Factors relating to your personal circumstances e.g. your family background, education and employment track record, medical conditions, evidence that sheds light on your character and attitude as well as information regarding his potential to be rehabilitated and to be reformed from your offending behaviour.
- Factors relating to the manner in which the offence was committed e.g. your specific role, the value of the property involved, the degree of any injury caused to the victim as well as other circumstances which allow the Court to better understand the context in which the offence took place (for example, provocation by the victim).
- A mitigation plea must not include information which contradicts the Statement of Facts which you pleaded guilty to or disputes the facts and conclusions arrived at by the Judge after a trial.