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Commonwealth DPP Policy

The Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions is the department responsible for prosecuting commonwealth crimes. Commonwealth crimes are crimes that are committed under federal legislation, such as importation offences  and terrorism offences. Commonwealth crimes can be dealt with at the Magistrates Court level or in the higher courts, depending on the offence.

What considerations does the Commonwealth DPP take into account when considering charge negotiations?

  • Charges should not be laid with the intention of providing scope for subsequent charge negotiations.
  • The charges must bear a reasonable relationship to the nature of the alleged criminal conduct.
  • There must be evidence to support the charges.
  • The prosecution should not agree to a plea bargaining proposal initiated by the defence if you continue to assert your innocence with respect to charges to which you have offered to plead guilty.
  • Whether you are willing to co-operate with the investigation or prosecution of others, or the extent to which you have already done so.
  • Whether the sentence that is likely to be imposed if the charges are varied as proposed would be appropriate for the criminal conduct involved. (Here, it is also relevant to take into account whether you are already serving a term of imprisonment).
  • The desirability of dealing with the case in a prompt and certain manner.
  • Your criminal history.
  • The strength of the prosecution case.
  • The likelihood of adverse consequences to witnesses.
  • Whether it will save a vulnerable witness or a victim from the stress of testifying in a trial.
  • Where there has been financial loss to the Commonwealth or any person, and whether you have made arrangements for reimbursement.
  • The need to avoid delay in resolving other pending cases.
  • The time and expense involved in a trial and any appeal proceedings.
  • The views of the referring department or agency.
  • The views of the victim if available, and where it is appropriate to take those into account.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Michelle Makela

This article was written by Michelle Makela

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

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